Saturday, October 29, 2022




By Mickey Spillane and Max Allan Collins

Titan Books

273 pgs


Once again writer Max Allan Collins has completed a Mike Hammer story left unfinished by the late Mickey Spillane. If you’re a Spillane fan, this is always a cause for celebration. Note, this volume is divided into two sections. The first being the actual novella length, “Kill Me If You Can,” and the second is a bonus collection of several Spillane short stories.


Whereas the novella itself is a fun read, it is very formulaic and contains most of the iconic tropes most Hammer tales are known for. The murder victim is an old Hammer acquaintance. The list of suspects includes the usual group of mean, sadistic gangsters and lastly there’s the drop-dead gorgeous femme fatale. A seductress who is both good and bad tempting our tough guy hero to ignore his instincts and just put out the lights. Now formulas are not inherently a bad thing. Every mystery series since Sherlock Holmes came on the scene has use them; from Nero Wolfe to James Bond. Formulas are those comfortable pieces we’ve come not only recognize, but also appreciate when delving into the series’ latest entry. If you’re a bonafide fan, you’ll see the climax coming a mile away.  

The enjoyable surprises arrive in the book’s second half and those short story gems. There are five total; several adapted from radio plays and two featuring Hammer. Of the five, the standouts are “The Punk,” a grim, honest look at dope addiction and “Tonight My Love,” delivering P.I. Hammer as the knight in tarnished armor destined to rescue a certain damsel in distress. The last line will put a smile on your face.  

“Kill Me If You Can” is another great addition to the completist wish list. For Spillane fans, it’s Christmas come early this year.


Tuesday, October 25, 2022




File this episode under Weird. As most of you know, we’ve been writing our review blog, Pulp Fiction Reviews for over twenty years. In that time we’ve received books from both writers and publishers that have arrived in every shape possible. From pristine copies to those so ripped or bent one wonders what game the postal carriers were playing with the package before eventually delivering it into our hands. We thought we’d pretty much seen it all.  Ha. Never say never. 

A few weeks ago, much to our delight, Titan Books sent us package. Inside was the newest Mike Hammer thriller “Kill Me if You Can,” written by Mickey Spillane and Max Allan. Folks who read the blog know we are big fans of both the late author and his super talented protégé. So, again, we are very happy and began flipping through to the pages. Which was when we realized several pages had a torn hole in the middle of them. Upon closer examination, we realized something had penetrated the book from the front as if stabbing through the hard cover and penetrating all way through to page 138! We have no idea what was used in the stabbing, but it would appear to have been some kind of very tough nail to have cut that deep into the volume. 

Of course the damage is minimal in we are still able to read the book, which we are currently doing. Still, it is strange. And perhaps a case for a tough guy P.I. like Hammer to solve were he able. Our introduction would have been, “Mike, somebody stabbed our book!”

Next up - the actual review. Take care.

Sunday, October 23, 2022


LAWLESS and the Flowers of Sin

By William Sutton

Titan Books

359 pgs


London in the mid 1860s. Vice Detective Sgt. Campbell Lawless given the unsavory assignment of numbering how many young ladies are employed in local brothels from the most tawdry to the elegant catering to the city’s elite gentry. In a nutshell, he’s tasked with tallying how many prostitutes ply their trade in the capital city. It is a ridiculous job devised to produce a fictional number by which a commission can then be inaugurated to look into dealing with the societal plight of these poor ladies. It is all a sham to make the local politicians look.      

Unfortunately, Lawless, a conscientious fellow, soon comes to realize the extent of trade is far greater than he had ever envisioned. In one form or another, prostitution pervades the entire metropolis and the number he is seeking soul shaking. At the same time, he and two of his squad colleagues begin to suspect a secret network of opportunists have devised a hellish system by keeping the trade bustling. Under the organization of a mysterious mastermind, a school for courtesans had been established in the rougher river front area where stolen little girls are brought and educated in roles of sex partners. Everything from proper diction, to etiquette and manners are part of curriculum along with the more basic erotic physicality. Once of age and sufficiently schooled, they are then sold to wealthy men throughout the city. They are referred to as the Flowers of Sin.  

As Lawless tells the readers at the start, this tale is not so much about the mystery as it is about the exploitation of women throughout the ages, from pre-cultural ages to the dawn of so-called civilization. So many men of power have constantly abused that power to treat womankind as mere objects to satiate their depravities and then cast them aside. Author Sutton’s depiction of these women is profoundly disturbing as it should be. What is sad is our modern world hasn’t changed all that much in regards to that sin.  

“Lawless and the Flowers of Sin,” is not for the faint of heart. But it is worth your attention.



Saturday, October 15, 2022

BENEDICT AND BRAZOS # 18 : Bo Rangle's Boothill



# 18 : Bo Rangle’s Boothill

By E. Jefferson Clay

Bold Venture Press

116 pgs


So we’re heading out the door about to go on a ten day vacation in New England to view the magnificent Fall foliage. Hastily we scan the books on our shelf and grab two to stuff in our suitcase. One of these was “Benedict and Brazos # 18 : Bo Rangle’s Boothill. For those of you who came in late, this is one of the better western paperback series ever produced. Duke Benedict is a former Union officer while Hank Brazos an ex-Confederate sergeant. Through a bloody encounter towards the end of the Civil War, the two become partners to hunt down a killer named Bo Rangle and his gang. Rangle stole a shipment of army gold and each new book is the series is part of this extended chase saga.

Which as it turns out terminates in this particular volume.  I.e. our two gritty heroes manage to finally catch up with their prey in a gun blasting finale. But not before lots of other folks, both good and bad become collateral damage. Watching the friendship develop between the main characters is one of the real pleasures of these action packed books. And as luck would have, the kind folks at Bold Venture actually quoted one of our earlier reviews right there on the cover. This in no way prejudiced this review. “Bo Rangle’s Boothill” is a classic western from the first page to last. Now we’re curious what will come next for these two rough and tumble saddle pals.


Sunday, October 02, 2022

ERIN - Speaker of the Mihn'D


ERIN – Speaker of the Mihn’D

By Wayne Carey

Bold Venture Press

299 pgs


Writer Wayne Carey has an uncanny affinity for old fashion sci-fi tales reminiscent of all those great paperbacks of the 60s and 70s. In his latest, “ERIN-Speaker of the Mihn’D” he creates an amazing off world adventure featuring a sarcastic, self-centered teenage girl as his protagonist. In this future, the world has encountered alien races and established political relationships with the Yyrrlaar who inhabit the planet Ryllin. When Erin’s estranged father dies on Ryllin, the American Diplomatic Corp request Erin travel to the alien world to represent her family at his funeral.     

Once on Ryllin, Erin discovers there are two other sentient life forms living there. The Drac of massive lizard like beings with engineering talents and the Mihn’D, a race of round goo-like creatures considered nothing more than simple animals who take care of the planet’s natural environment with their farming skills. At first all seems straight forward and Erin hopes once she completed her task of attending her father’s alien funeral, she can return to Earth and become celebrity as the first ever human teenager to visit an alien planet.  

Things go awry when she is kidnapped by a group of Dracs and renegade humans who claim they were abducted from Earth hundreds of years earlier by the Yyrrlar who are not as peace loving as they claim. Then she learns from her Drac kidnappers that they were the first inhabitants of Ryllin and are being Ryllin and are being subjugated by their Yyrrlar overlords. And if that wasn’t enough to confound any young woman, Erin is approached by strange Mihn’D and is touched by one of its malleable tentacle after which she discovers she has been physically altered by the contact. The alien being has infected her bloodstreams with millions of micro-creatures giving her both telepathic abilities and extraordinary physical stamina.  

When the Dracs begin a war with the Yyrrlar, Erin finds herself caught it the middle. Possessing the information that will forever alter the situation, she also becomes a target of those factions who would prefer to maintain the status quo. And thus Carey spins a fantastic tale of unbelievable imagination that is almost impossible to put down. His sci-fi storytelling reminds of such classic writers as E.C. Tubb, Ed Hamilton and Robert Heinlein. To that end, “ERIN – Speaker of the Mihn-D” is a book you do not want to miss.