Continuing the Girasol reprints, two novels, two authors!
The Spider Pulp Doubles #1 Prince of the Red Looters and The City that Dared Not Eat 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…
Prince of the Red Looters is the 11th novel, originally published in August 1934. It’s another winning tale by Norvell Page!
In this novel, the villain is known as The Fly. The Spider meets this bad guy when he is challenged by him! The Fly invites the Spider to “step into his parlor! They have a deadly duel with sabers—to the death!
The Fly robs a bank of a million dollars, killing people with an oddly shaped soundless pistol. He then sends presents of cash to various gang lords, wanting to unite crime under his leadership.
I believe that it isn’t Page at his best, but it isn’t bad.
The City That Dared Not Eat is the 49th novel, originally published in October 1937. This story is the second one written by Wayne Rogers.
The Spider was recently exonerated of all of his crimes. But a trial the law counted on goes wrong, and the newly freed men are attacked, one killed, one abducted in Wentworth’s own Daimler limousine! Tossed out dead into the street, the Spider’s symbol is upon the man's forehead! A gun is also dumped, with Wentworth’s fingerprints! Not only did the gun kill the man with a spider emblem, but it was also used to kill two cops!
Across the city, restaurants explode killing or maiming everyone inside. Food stores are destroyed, and people starve. Poison milk kills children everywhere, and when the Spider tries to intervene, he draws the blame for the poisoned milk as well!
There were several stories dealing with people destroying food supplies to corner the market. This one isn’t written by Page, but it is an exciting story!
I give both stories and the book as a whole four stars!
Quoth the Raven…