Greetings from The Raven!

Oct. 9, 2017

The Complete Adventures of the Moon Man Volume 5 by Fredrick Davis

The pulp magazines’ weirdest hero!

As this is volume five of the adventures of the Moon Man, I have to point out that there are a few things that get old about these stories. McEwen’s rants in every story, Sue McEwen’s emotional pleas with Steve Thatcher, and Angel’s attempts to dissuade the Moon Man from action begin to harm rather than help the story.

By the time the first story in this volume was originally published, twenty-four previously stories had already set forth the fact that McEwen was unrelenting, Sue was emotional, and Angel was loyal to a fault. There is no reason to continue to point this out every story. Because of this, all books forward will lose one star from me.

***Possible Spoilers Ahead***

And now, on to the stories!

  • “The Dial of Doom” McEwen sets a trap for the Moon Man with marked money and intercepts a note left for Angel…
  • “The Bleeding Skeleton” A crook rises to beat the Moon Man at his own game as the masked Skeleton…
  • “The Masked Scourge” Chasing money for the poor, the Moon Man enters a house just as the occupant is shot, framing Steve Thatcher once more for murder!
  • “The Master of Murder River” Detective Lieutenant McEwen has cause to suspect Steve as the Moon Man and his daughter Sue as a confederate…
  • “Counterfeit Corpse” Once more Detective Lieutenant McEwen is in trouble with the Police Board! The person he suspects in a fake drug ring has friends in high places, and the Moon Man must bail McEwen out…

The stories are great, and I give the book four stars!

Quoth the Raven…

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Oct. 7, 2017

I Want to Tell You: My Response to Your Letters, Your Messages, Your Questions by OJ Simpson

This book now makes me cold inside. Just take a look at all the photos of happier times, photos personally chosen by a man who now admits guilt, and if it doesn’t make you sick what will?

These are responses to people who supported OJ, those who believed in the hero behind the horror. OJ tries to reassure people that he was, indeed, not guilty.

Mixed in are words that somehow manage to blame Nicole for all the trouble. OJ’s words of love for Nicole come with a “but” clause. “I loved her but she was…” Over and over this is the impression I get of everything said.

Nicole was arm-candy to OJ, a possession, not a wife. When she complained about his infidelities, the fault lay with her, according to OJ. When she called 911 because of domestic violence, she was the problem. While OJ stalked her and kept showing up unannounced, that was because of her.

I give this book MINUS INFINITY STARS and cannot wait to toss the garbage into the trash. It is sick, sick, sick!

Quoth the Raven…

Oct. 3, 2017

Pretty Jane and the Viper of Kidbrooke Lane: A True Story of Victorian Law and Disorder by Paul Thomas Murphy

My thanks go out to all my contacts at Pegasus Books for my copy of this collection of vampire stories! Thank you so much!

On April 26, 1871, a policeman discovered a young woman in the darkness of Kidbrooke Lane in London. She was barely alive, having been beaten severely with what later proved to be a hammer used in lathe-work. She had missing pieces of skull and jaw and her brains were exposed. Five days later she succumbed to her wounds.

Her words before her death indicated that Edward Pook may have been involved in her death. Pook was from a good family with both money and reputation. Jane had worked for them until just about a week before her death when she was dismissed from service. Rumor was that Jane, who was pregnant, was carrying Edward Pook’s child.

This case could have easily been the OJ Simpson Trial of 1871! You had a person of some standing accused of a violent murder. Pook’s father, with the financial backing of other businessmen, hired a dream team of lawyers. The Judge in the case was criticized for controversial rulings. The lawyers’ strategy was to attack the police, not the evidence. They also disparaged the victim herself; Edward calling her “a very dirty girl.”

The feeling was in the end that Edward had been found “not guilty” because of who he was. He also had a ruthless team of lawyers who didn’t blink at destroying police reputations. Also, in the end, no one was ever charged. It seems most likely that Edward was indeed guilty.

Anyone who loves the details of courtroom drama or the mysteries of unsolved crime will greatly enjoy this book. It has the police investigation, the coroner’s report, trial transcripts, etc. Probably punched up a little for dramatic effect, it still checks with the historical facts.

I give this human drama five stars!

Quoth the Raven…BuyItHere>

Sep. 29, 2017

The Moon Man Volume Two 1934 by Fredrick Davis

Continuing the adventures of one of Pulp’s strangest heroes!

This second volume contains the six Moon Man adventures from 1934. They take up directly from where volume one left off. However, most of these stories are battles against a group known as the Red Six. Six scarlet masked masters of crime have many masked underlings. No one knows the identities of the top six men.

The many underlings are forced to work for this organization by blackmail. “We give silence for silence!” is a motto often quoted by the men at the top. The persecuted are from every walk of life, giving the Red Six a foothold in business, shops, banks, museums, wealthy families, etc. They are looking for a foothold in the Great City Police Department…

Then the man at the top, Primus, discovers the secret of the Moon Man…

I give this book five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>

Sep. 29, 2017

Sherlock Holmes: Consulting Detective 9 by IA Watson and Fred Adams Jr.

This is volume nine in the ongoing series by Airship 27. There are five short stories in the book. All are very well written!

“The Adventure of the Failing Light” by IA Watson opens the book with a bang! This is the true story of the missing lighthouse keepers on Eilean Mor, off the coast of northwestern Scotland. The keepers were discovered missing without a trace in December 1900. The Flannan Isles Lighthouse had been inoperative for some time, endangering ships. The only permanent residents of Eilean Mor were sheep. This is what may have happened if Sherlock Holmes had been consulted.

“The Adventure of the Three-Strand Garrote” by Fred Adams, Jr deals with Holmes investigating a series of murders. Wiggins brings the case to Holmes because his Uncle and his Uncle’s friend, both wounded veterans of the Afghan War, are suspected in the deaths…

This story is runner-up and honorable mention, as far as I am concerned!

“The Betrayal” by Erick Franklin finds a friend of Watson, a fellow veteran of the Afghan War and also wounded at Maiwand, accused of murder. Watson’s gut feeling tells him that his friend is innocent. Holmes’ investigation has the suspicion of guilt being a probability of guilt. The two friends clash, neither backing down.

“The Adventure of the Picked Pocket” by Fred Adams, Jr deals with a problem most unusual. A man has evidence of a crime lost from his possession when a pick-pocket decides on him for a victim! Two crimes, one victim, and a deadly ending make for naming the story second runner-up!

“The Adventure of the Brazilian Beetle” by Aaron Smith takes “Best in Book!” from me. An artist makes a chance acquaintance of a young Brazilian woman in Highgate Cemetery. The woman has agreed to pose for the artist but fails to keep the appointment. While attempting to find her, he discovers a carved silver beetle she wore as a brooch lying in the street. He could have never suspected what the investigation would ultimately uncover!

The book is a fine addition to this wonderful series! I give it five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

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