May. 5, 2019

Two novel-length adventures of pulpdom’s violent knight!

The Spider Double Pulp Novels #16

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist knight!gist. Backed up by his manservant Ram Singh, his old war pal Jackson, and his fiancé Nita van Slone, Wentworth takes on crime at the street level.

The Spider has no scruples about killing. The criminals who cross the Spider die and their foreheads are marked with a scarlet spider.

The Spider is wanted by the police, and his friend Commissioner Kirkpatrick suspects Wentworth. Hardly surprising, as everyone seems to know the Spider’s secret. Proving it is another thing entirely…

Reign of the Death Fiddler

A new leader rises in the underworld. The Fiddler marks his victims with a small violin mark, much like the Spider’s way of marking his kills. The Fiddler selects a victim every Thursday night and kills them at eleven thirty. He appears as a corpse, stitched with bullets, sporting a knife in the chest, strangled—however the last victim died…

Wentworth has to disappear and walks the night as Blinky McQuade. He shoots down a policeman in front of a bar full of crooks. Or so it appears…

This story is strong in that it could really happen. The chief criminal’s methods are not beyond the realm of possibility. A+!

City of Whispering Death

The Whisper of Death is the latest super-crook to strike New York. No one will bear witness against any person accused of a crime. The Whisper resounds out of nowhere, and witnesses fall, slashed up by an invisible weapon.

The Whisper appears in a robe and devilish mask, sometimes more than one figure, all dressed the same. Each of the devils can unleash the mysterious slashing death, but only one is the real Whisper of Death…

The story is a product of its time. It was 1938 and the world was at war. Old prejudices, unfortunately, come through, in the form of considering Orientals to be “The Yellow Peril.” I did think it big of the author to point out that Wentworth knew many Chinese people who were solid citizens. This was a viewpoint rare in these dark times.

I give both stories four stars…

Quoth the Raven…

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