Greetings from The Raven!

Jul. 18, 2019

The Spider Double Novel Reprint #25 The Jewels of Hell/Recruit for the Spider Legion 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…

The Spider and the Jewels of Hell is the 87th Spider novel, originally published in December 1940. It is another earth-shaking saga by Norvell Page!

Wanted by both the NYPD lead by Commissioner Littlejohn and the FBI, Wentworth goes on vacation with Nita. On his way to California, the Spider encounters a Russian Agent that tortures a woman to death. The Spider kills the man and marks his forehead with the scarlet emblem of justice! But since NYPD has alerted police everywhere, Wentworth is arrested!

Escaping, the Spider goes to war with a shadowy foe known only as the Killer. His deadly ray heats metal to white-hot levels. Coins in your pocket reach temperatures that melt them into human flesh! It is hard to use any weapon since guns will scald your fingers!

This novel is the usual smashmouth fiction that readers associate with hard-hitting pulp action. The story deals with something that could really happen. Think about it for a time.

Recruit for the Spider Legion is the 114th published novel, originally published in March 1943. It is also by Norvell Page and a topnotch tale!

Commissioner Kirkpatrick is framed both for embezzlement and for murder! The basis for the framing is to first remove Kirkpatrick from his office, then to send him to the electric chair! The Spider tries to shift the blame for the murder to himself, but Kirkpatrick has to go vigilante for a while!

The story was excellent! It’s perhaps a slight change from Page’s usual style. But he handles it like a master!

I give both stories, and the book as a whole, five stars!

Quoth the Raven…

The book is hard to find but you can Buy It Here at Bookfinder>

Jul. 7, 2019

 The Spider #12 Reign of the Silver Terror by Norvell Page writing as Grant Stockbridge

Volume twelve in this latest Spider series!

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…

Reign of the Silver Terror was originally published in September 1934 in the Spider Magazine.

The United States begins to centralize the national gold reserves, and the President takes the country off the gold standard. The so-called “free coinage of silver” becomes an issue before Congress. The measure would mean the Government must purchase and coin more silver, enriching those who own silver mines.

The Senate is calling for a vote, and anyone who stands against the “free silver plan” is being systematically forced to change their vote. Blackmail, kidnapping, murder—the villains are stopping at nothing to ensure the measure passes Congress.

Wentworth is trying to get a wealthy man to join the fight against free silver, but he refuses. He will gain from the enforcement of free silver, so he isn’t going to try to stop the movement. But is he the man behind the scheme or just greedy?

A nice story based on a real issue the country had to face, (although it was more around 1873 to 1890 in the real world) the basic facts remain the same. Page manages to make it interesting, but let’s just say the story hasn’t aged so well.

I give the book three stars…

Quoth the Raven…

 

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press>

Jul. 7, 2019

The Spider #8 The Mad Horde by Norvell Page writing as Grant Stockbridge

Volume eight in this latest Spider series!

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…

The Mad Horde was originally published in May 1934 in The Spider Magazine

Wentworth is in a small city in Ohio. Wentworth seeks a man who purchases 5,000 dogs! A horrible threat has been released in American towns. Hydrophobia! The disease is spread by an army of animals: rabid dogs, cats, mice, rats, and even bats! Anyone infected by this deadly strain becomes a raving madman who only serves to further spread the contagion.

The hidden power behind this plague is rightly termed the Horde Master. Laboratories that produce medicine to fight rabies are blown to bits. What could anyone possibly gain through this madness!

This story is the Spider meets a horror movie. The action is non-stop, and the fear and horror are almost tangible. I did wonder what the Horde Master planned to do to stop the madness after he obtained his goal. After all, each new victim would only produce more victims. It is useless to extort money unless you are going to be able to spend it…

I give the story four stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press>

Jun. 24, 2019

The Spider #6 The Citadel of Hell by Norvell Page writing as 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…

The Citadel of Hell

This story was originally published in the Spider Magazine in March 1934.

Many places are burning to the ground with a heavy loss of life. All locations have one thing in common: they are somehow connected to the food industry. Warehouses, factories, distribution centers, stores—all are fair game for the Food Destroyers! The Red Mask and other like-minded villains are systematically driving up prices—and this is the Great Depression!

Hunted by the police (when is he not?) Wentworth first takes the identity of Tito Caliepi the hunchbacked violinist, and we begin to see the Spider’s trademark look. The pace is frantic and the death toll massive.

I think it one of the better Spider novels. I do wish Page had somehow made the Spider’s secret identity a lot more secret. The whole idea of a secret identity is to conceal who is behind the mask. Hey, Superman came along only four years later and didn’t have this kind of problem when all he did was wear glasses!

I give the book five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press>

 

Jun. 24, 2019

The Spider #10 Corpse Cargo by Norvell Page writing as 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…

The Corpse Cargo

Pirates are at work, on land instead of by sea. Entire trains are struck by artificial green chain lightning. No one survives, the lightning strikes several times to make sure. The crooks then board and rob passengers and cargo, blasting the train afterward with a final burst of green flame! The lightning is the invention of Jonas Curley, and the life of his family is threatened.

Their leader is the enigmatic woman calling herself Captain Kidd. She plans well enough to stymie the Spider and capture him! Nina’s life hangs in the balance, also plaguing the Spider.

The story is fast paced, and the villain well developed. The final reveal was handled nicely, with a twist that the reader may not see coming. Altogether a satisfying read!

I give the story five stars…

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here directly from Altus Press>