May. 12, 2019

Two novel-length stories from the Shadow Magazine and a Radio Play

The Shadow Double Novels #102 by Maxwell Grant

The Shadow was a superhero that starred in both pulp magazines and Old Time Radio. The magazines were extremely popular, and the Shadow began to star as the host of a radio show. Later, the Shadow Radio Show would begin with stars like Orson Wells and Margot Stevenson.

There was a marked difference between the magazine Shadow and the radio Shadow. On the radio, the Shadow used “hypnotism to cloud men’s minds so they cannot see him.” The Shadow was Lamont Cranston, who was accompanied by his girlfriend, Margo Lane.

The Magazine Shadow was much more mysterious. He used darkness as his cover and could almost vanish due to his skill and stealth. He sometimes appeared as Lamont Cranston, but he was not Lamont Cranston. The real Cranston and the Shadow had an arrangement. Margo never appeared in the magazine until 1941, when she was introduced and sometimes was with Lamont Cranston and sometimes with the Shadow’s agent Harry Vincent.

The majority of the stories were written by Walter Gibson, under the house name “Maxwell Grant.” All the stories in this volume were Witten by Gibson.

King of the Black Market was originally published in October 1943.

Various industries are hit by sabotage, their shipments replaced with inferior products. People within the besieged factories are framed for the crime.

I always like it when Vic Marquette of the FBI shows up in a Shadow novel! This means that the Shadow will be backed up by a man who has authority behind him. The Shadow will solve the crooks, and the law will be on the side of the Shadow!

Crime Caravan was originally published in April 1944.

Used cars are big business. The cars are shipped cross country from New Jersey via a caravan of drivers. They are driven slowly and are checked at towns along the route. But cars are vanishing from the caravan and banks are being robbed in towns near each overnight stop.

Not bad. This novel highlights the more pedestrian crimes the Shadow fought. Many pulp heroes fought earthshaking battles across the globe. The Shadow fights against gangsters and various rackets, closer to street crime. The amazing methods the master crook uses to divert the stolen cars is top notch! The final reveal is well played! Bravo!

The Mine Hunters is a Shadow radio play broadcast August 7, 1938.

Hijinks on the High Seas! A spy ring is mining the coastal waters near the Canal Zone in Panama.

A good story.

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…