Jul. 18, 2019

Continuing the Girasol reprints, two novels by Norvell Page!

The Spider Pulp Doubles #3 Slaves of the Crime-Master/The Spider and the Fire God by Grant Stockbridge

The Spider is Richard Wentworth, a wealthy criminologist. 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…

Slaves of the Crime-Master is the 19th novel, originally published in April 1935. Written by Norvell Page, it is hard-hitting pulp!

The Tempter is a soothing voice over the radio, urging youths as young as eleven to take up crime. The Spider cannot just shoot them as he might and adult criminal, so he seeks to win them over to his side.

Then there is the Doctor, a man disfigured by horrible burns. He has created a way to spread infantile paralysis through food. He also invents an antitoxin—by growing it inside living babies he kidnapped! The antidote is available—to those who can pay the Doctor’s price!

An excellent story with two villains to conqueror!

The Spider and the Fire God is the 71st novel, originally published in August 1939. It is another Norvell Page masterpiece!

A giant of a man with a huge red beard, Kalki declares himself the avatar of Vishnu. He calls for worship both of Vishnu, and himself as Vishnu’s prophet! Those who disobey are consumed by the flames of Vishnu, which destroy starting with their eyes! How do you combat a man who calls fire down from heaven!?

The Spider is in a battle with the NYPD again, under acting Commissioner Dane, so he goes undercover as Casimir Belotti, a street violinist, apparently the same disguise he formerly called Tito Caliepi. Perhaps Page simply forgot the name of this character, who knows?

The story is good, with decent action. I just don’t think it is Page at his best.

I give the first story five stars and the second three stars. The book overall gets four stars.

Quoth the Raven…

There are copies available Here>