Greetings from The Raven!

May. 16, 2019

The Shadow Double Novels #101 by Maxwell Grant

Two novel-length stories from the Shadow Magazine…

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.” The second novel in this book was written by the “other Maxwell Grant” Theodore Tinsley.

Gangdom’s Doom was originally published in December 1931.

This was the fifth adventure of the Shadow. The Shadow has agents who work for him, gathering information, driving him around, fighting alongside him, etc. Claude Fellows was the Shadow’s point man in the field. He went to Chicago on businesw declares war on the Chicago underworld for the death of Fellows.

It really is a wonderful adventure. The crime boss in s for the Shadow and was promptly murdered. The Shadothe story was probably based on Al Capone. There is a lot of shifting between various pov’s, but the final reveal straightens it all out smoothly!

The Golden Grotto was originally published in May 1933.

An inbound ship is attacked by pirates! The story soon begins to circle around several men. There’s Professor Kirby Shelton, a lecturer who is enthusiastic about the idea of a utopia he hopes to set up. There’s Malbray Woodruff, a famous artist. Lastly, there is a retired banker with an ugly countenance who goes by the name Elbert Cordes. They all reside at East Point, and one of them could be the big guy over the Golden Grotto…

This story has an endless number of false trails along the way to the amazing climax! Tinsley usually had a bit racier story and a femme fatale. This story is no exception!

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>

May. 16, 2019

The Shadow Double Novels #104 by Maxwell Grant

Two novel-length stories from the Shadow Magazine…

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.” The first novel in this book was written by the “other Maxwell Grant” Theodore Tinsley.

Double Death was originally published in December 1938.

A man arranges for dead men to be murdered—again!

As usual with Theodore Tinsley, the story goes beyond the street-level crime the Shadow usually tackles. Doctor Jasper Logan has an invention, a black ray device that supposedly will melt steel. Turned on human beings, the ray reduces them to a small pile of blue ash! Tinsley’s usual femme fatale appears as a series of beautiful ladies, as she is a master of disguise…

The story runs smoothly, and the characters are well rounded. The ending could perhaps be better, but the character interaction makes up for that. This one is probably a four-star story…

The Robot Master was originally published in May 1943.

What we have here is dueling inventors, each with a working robot. These are only mechanical, no AI required. The argument is which man’s brainchild can be best adapted to serve multiple tasks. An even better question is what powers the robots known as Thronzo and Superlo!

I really liked this one! The thought of the earth shaking as two metal behemoths clashing in a fight paints an image not soon forgotten! This one is a definite five-star story.

There is an added short story, The Case of the Mechanical Monster by Max Ehrlich, broadcast as a radio play January 17, 1943, and a period comic strip Iron Munro, the Astounding Man by T Sturgeon and Jack Farr.

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

This book is currently unavailable.

 

May. 16, 2019

The Shadow Double Novels #103 by Maxwell Grant

Two novel-length stories from the Shadow Magazine…

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.” Gibson wrote both stories presented here.

The Romanoff Jewels was originally published in December 1932.

Fredrick Froman has plans to seize the crown jewels of the Romanoff’s, once he discovers where they are being held. Getting that information requires torturing a man, but Froman is relentless. Meanwhile, Ivan Motkin, charged with the guarding of this treasure, takes steps to ensure Froman doesn’t get his hands on it. The twist in this one is priceless!

Several times in the Shadow stories there is a mention that the Shadow used to work for the Tsar. He carries identity as an agent of the Russian throne. This sets him at odds with the Russian government and the characters in this story…

Crime Under Cover was originally published in June 1941.

Vic Marquette is in Washington trying to prevent Professor Urlich Ardlan’s latest invention from falling into the hands of foreign agents. Professor Arlan’s invention is called “the neutralizer,” a device that can detect any poisonous gas and deliver the exact chemicals to render it harmless. The bad guys here use Esperanto as a language to keep their plans secret.

Esperanto was used in other Shadow Magazine stories. The language was invented by Doctor LL Zamenhof as an international language. It was thought that it would become common usage, but not so much…

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>

 

May. 12, 2019

The Shadow Double Novels #140 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.

Murder Lake was originally published in June 1943.

The Redland Iron Mine wanted to resume mining, but the old mine is now Iron Lake. There is a fierce battle between the miners and the people who want to keep the lake, which mysteriously produces excellent fishing…

I liked this one. The reasons behind the antipathy towards draining the lake might be a tad easy to guess, but the final reveal of the villain is handled very well.

Syndicate of Death was originally published in February 1944.

An inventor named Lucien Bartlett creates a machine that works like an x-ray. Using this device, it is possible to see through walls and even steel vaults. If this machine works, men of crime see the potential for robbery…

I liked this story as well. Use of x-rays in medical emergencies was commonplace, so using it to see through walls wasn’t much of a stretch. The reveal of the master planner is held back until the last minute. Very nice!

The Mask of Mephisto was originally published in July 1945.

Lamont and Margo are in New Orleans for Mardi Gras. The Shadow is looking for a gang who are running the illegal Louisiana Lottery. A man in a scarlet devil costume haunts the parades and various gatherings. He kills two persons, and there may be more.

I loved this story from the first time I read it years ago! The contrast between the brilliant red of the devil costume and the ebony robes of the Shadow makes for a terrific mental picture. The pace is fast, almost frantic at times. The final reveal is riveting.

All three stories get five stars from me!

Quoth the Raven…

BuyItHere>  

May. 12, 2019

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…

BuyItHere>