Wednesday, December 27, 2023




A Jeremiah Halstead Western

By Terrance McCauley

Pinnacle Books

316 Pgs.  

This is the fourth entry in the Jeremiah Halstead series and like the previous books, a slam-bang action packed western ride. At the end of the last installment, Halstead, the protégé of Montana Marshal Aaron Mackey, had been falsely charged with the murder of to sheriff’s deputies and a warrant issued for his arrest. Knowing fully well his Deputy Marshal had been targeted by a corrupt federal judge, Mackey allowed Halstead time to escape the city and disappear into the western mountain ranges known as the Flatheads.

As “Born To Hang” opens, Mackey, fearing numerous bounty hunters are now on Halstead’s trail, dispatches another of his men, Jason Sanborne, to find the fugitive and bring him back to Helena before he’s gunned down. Mackey is right to be worried, as Halstead is indeed set upon by mountain trappers eager to claim the five thousand dollar reward on his head. After surviving two such ambushes and leaving five men dead, Halstead comes down out of the mountains to a small village known as Barren Pines. Here he hopes to resupply his provisions and wait out a harsh winter storm. 

Instead what he finds is a conniving dance hall queen known as the Glamorous Glenda who is working with the town lawman, to trap Halstead and bring him back to Missoula for the reward. At the same, Halstead’s nemesis, the one-armed Emil Riker, is on his way there along with a group of gunmen to mete out his own blood vengeance on the man who killed his brother and took shot off his arm. 

Between killers and surprise allies, Barren Pines soon becomes the nexus of survival for the weary Halstead. Will his uncanny luck finally expire? Once again, Terrance McCauley spins a truly terrific story with memorable characters and tons of gun-blazing action. “Born To Hang” is another of his bonafide western winners.

Thursday, December 21, 2023




An Aarastad Story

By Micah Swanson Harris

Minor Profit Press

104 pgs


“Incognito” is the fourth book in Micah Swanson Harris’ exciting fantasy swashbuckling series. It’s fantasy in that the stories take place on an alternate world, in particular a Scandinavian country called Aarastad which shares its history not only with the northern climes, but Russia as well. Most of the principalities border a gigantic glacier and the accepted mode of transportation is via massive skating ships. As if that wasn’t enough, the glacier itself acts as a portal between other dimensions in time and space.

Which is where this adventure begins. Captain Bulan and his crew, aboard a giant steam-powered ice-ship are returning to their home. What they don’t realize is that they have been manipulated of a powerful necromancer and are sent to the wrong Aarastad. Bulan believes Queen Freya to be his lover and when she loudly denies even knowing him in front of the entire royal court; he opts to take matters in his own hands by kidnapping her.

What Bulan doesn’t know is this Freya’s fiancée, Count Ambrose, is in actually the masked outlaw swordsman known as the Wurger Medicant. Think Zorro only with an ominous metal mask that hides his entire face. Naturally he sets off, with the Queen’s double, Ingrid, and a young man name Hans Brinker, to rescue his beloved. By the time he and his allies reach Bulan’s shipt, the story’s pacing is full into hyperdrive.

Harris’ imagination is deliriously over-the-top. There are plenty of great, fun, romantic characters and he’s not afraid to inject solid doses of slap-stick humor to lighten various scenes. In all, “Incognito” is a terrific adventure that will surely tempt you to hunt up the previous three volumes in his Aarastad tales. That would be a smart move on your part.

Monday, December 04, 2023




By J.P. Linde

El Dorado Publishing

212 pgs


We’ve always had a fondest for stories that bring together historical figures, who in reality never met. Such is the case in this new adventure by J.P. Linde. H has American writer Jack London venturing into the rugged mountains of Alaska after encountering none other that former western lawman, Wyatt Earp. Thay premise alone was enough to wet our appetite.


An old gold prospector named Chilkoot Charlie has discovered a fantastic gold mine. Unfortunately for him, the news of his claim is discovered by an unscrupulous dentist named Lee. Lee immediately sets about hiring thugs to capture the old man and learn the location of his mine. Before they can do so, Charlie draws a map and mails it his friend Jack London in San Franciso. Upon receipt of the map, London books package on a steamer bound for Juneau. Only a few days earlier he had met a young black boy named Tomas and the boy’s dog Terry. The boy’s father was missing and Tomas was desperate to find him.

Dentist Lee learns of the map sent to London and wires ex-lawman Wyatt Earp to retrieve it using any means necessary. Tomas, aware the mercenary gunfighter is also traveling on the steamer, stows away on the ship and warns London. And thus begins the chase with Earp, and a few of Lee’s thugs, after the famed novelist and orphan lad and his dog. What intrigued us was Linde’s using Earp as a villain.

He paints Earp as a cold-blooded killer whose only interest is money. Now that’s a very huge leap from the Hollywood hero most of us have grown up with. Still, history is a fickle animal and her accounts are often suspect to various interpretations. There were in fact lots of folks who consider Earp, and his brothers, just another rough-house gang no better than the other outlaws of the era. One has to wonder if the truth lies somewhere between the two disparities. In the end, Linde’s approach is a novelty. The writer even throws in a beautiful green-eyed brunette femme-fatale named Nicole who mesmerizes both the writer and the lawdog throughout.

By the book’s climax, we were soundly entertained and applaud what is an old fashion, rousing outdoor adventure much like Jack London would have penned himself. “Fool’s Gold” is a fun new look back when men and women accepted the challenge of the wilderness with gusto and a bit of foolish bravado, ala the book’s title. We think you’ll enjoy it.

Saturday, November 25, 2023




A Vermin Adventure

By Darryle Purcell

Offbeat Publishing

180 pgs


“Mindbeast” is the second in the new Vermin series by veteran pulpster, Darryle Purcell. The Vermin, dreaded foe of villainy, is in reality gifted cartoonist Vernon Jiles who has the ability to create life-like illusions and twist people’s perception of reality. He also brings to life the animal heroes and villains of his comic books. In this second adventure, which takes places a little over year since the first, Vernon has married Tenacity, his inking assistant and they have a baby boy named Vincent.

As the tale opens, several giant monsters appear in various locals around their home; one on an old western movie lot and the other down the street from their studios. Vernon quickly deduces the monsters are mere illusions much like those he weaves as the Vermin. The logical, and frightening, conclusion is there exist someone else with his abilities. Only this other illusionist is possessed with the obsession to amass power and wealth regardless of who he has to destroy to obtain it.

Then when this twisted soul joins forces with one of the Vermin’s old red terrorist foes, the action amps up fast. Once again, Purcell’s exuberant imagination is on full display and he spins a fast pace adventure filled with tons of action, awesome and fun heroes and truly merciless, black-hearted baddies. This is old fashioned, fun pulp at its finest.

Saturday, November 18, 2023




By Chuck Dixon

Rough Edges Press

241 pgs


Even since discovering this series a year ago, with book seven, “Levon’s Home,” we’ve been playing catch up. Both going back to the first “Levon’s Trade” and jumping ahead to the newer titles. We are also well aware that there is a proposed film in the works. It will be based on a film script by Sylvester Stallone and star Jason Statham. That we are excited by that prospect is an understatement.


Okay, so on to “Levon’s Kin,” i.e. volume five. After the events in the cold wilds of Maine, Cade and his daughter, Merry, return to his home in Alabama to find rest and peace with his Uncle Fern; a rough old codger living in the backwoods with his three dogs. No sooner are they settled in when Cade’s half-brother, Dale, suggest they go hunting together after wild boars. Cade agrees but soon discovers he’s been duped in helping Dale destroy a hidden meth-lab operated by Mexican illegal’s; members of a dangerous cartel.  

Within days of that event, other Hispanics arrive and brutalize their counter-parts, a redneck outlaw family also in the meth business believing them to be guilty of the attack on their base. And just like that a blood war is ranging in the hills and bodies from both camps are piling up. When Cade realizes his loved ones are vulnerable and will eventually become collateral damage, he goes on the offensive.

Dixon crams more action in a single Levon Cade thriller than most writers do in a half dozen books. Many times, while devouring this chapter, we found ourselves recalling those days, after coming home from Vietnam, when we discovered Don Pendleton’s Executioner tales. Honestly, Levon Cade is the rightful heir to Mack Bolan. Oh, yeah.

Monday, October 23, 2023





Edited by Robert Deis & Wyatt Doyle

# new texture

295 pgs


One of the many reasons we’ve always loved the pulps was their outrageous mixing of fiction genres. Via their hundreds of monthly titles one might find one devoted to cowboy romances or another to vampire pirates. Somehow the wilder the mix-up, the more fun the stories. Which is why this latest anthology from Men’s Adventure Magazine historians Robert Deis and Wyatt Doyle is easily one of their best releases to date. Devoted to preserving the history of MAMS, they’ve in the past offered dozens of amazing books. All these showcased the creative writers, artists and editors who took up the mantle of pulp fiction after World War II and filled American newsstands with some truly entertaining periodicals.  

Of course most of those MAMS were geared to the returning vets and their spotlight focused on action-adventure yarns for the most part. Still, every now and then, an odd duck sort tale would appear that was clearly something…else? Stories of aliens, bizarre monsters and creatures that echoed the fantastic yarns of the early pulps, especially the classic Weird Tales. Thus, it was only inevitable that Deis and Doyle would finally get around to assembling a collection of these so called “throwbacks.” We happy to say they’ve so with panache. 

Eliciting prologues from pulp authority Mike Chomko, and MAM fan Steven Dziemianowicz, they offer up 19 of the most sensational, out-there tales ever to assemble between two covers. From vampire hunting, to sex with gorgeous alien invaders, “Atomic Werewolves and Man-Eating Plants” delivers the goods with each story somehow even stranger than the one before it. The book is also gorgeously designed with actual art from the source magazines the stories were printed it in. All of which results in one of the most delicious reading entrees ever offered a pulp reader. Thanks gentlemen and please, do give us more.

Thursday, October 05, 2023




By Max Allan Collins

Hard Case Crime

293 pgs

“On June 5, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy was shot by Sirhan Sirhan at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, California and pronounced dead the following day. Kennedy, a United States senator and candidate in the 1968 Democratic Party presidential primaries, won the California and South Dakota primaries on June 4. He addressed his campaign supporters in the Ambassador Hotel's Embassy Ballroom. After leaving the podium, and exiting through a kitchen hallway, he was mortally wounded by multiple shots fired by Sirhan. Kennedy died at Good Samaritan Hospital nearly 25 hours later. His body was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. Kennedy’s assassination prompted the Secret Service to protect presidential candidates. In addition, it led to several conspiracy theories. It was the final of four major assassinations in the United States that occurred during the 1960s.”

For the record, we crimped the above from a Wikipedia page not wanting to repeat what most readers already know, or can easily become familiar with via that site or dozens of history books on Kennedy’s life and his death. What concerns Collins is the locale and the tightly packed hallway into the kitchen pantry where the murder took place. Relying on both voluminous research and his own gifted imagination, he pulls the reader into the midst of that chaos when bullets were suddenly fired into the crowed eliciting screams and panic. He sets Nate Heller, an old Kennedy friend, brought in to act as an impromptu bodyguard for the Senator, down into the middle of it all. Tragically the press of supporters stymies Heller’s effort to reach Kennedy and save him.

What few people today recall is that several other people were wounded in the shooting, thankfully none fatal other than Kennedy. They were wounded because of all the bullets that were fired supposedly by the lone gunman. This is the contradiction that confronts Heller days later when attempting to recall the event. He remembers too many bullets. Ultimately he is hired by newspaper journalist Drew Pearson to personally investigate the shooting and determine the truth.

Weaving Heller through an historical landscape, Collins offers up a suspenseful, well laid out narrative that is rife with inconsistencies and outright falsehoods. Heller knows a cover up when he runs into it head first; but that’s not enough. He needs to know the who(s) and is ultimately led down a highway that goes nowhere near the place called Justice. “Too Many Bullets” is both sad and thought provoking; a testimony to the one inescapable fact, we live in an imperfect world. So does Nate Heller.



Monday, October 02, 2023




By J.D. Robb

St. Martin’s Press

358 pages


The setting is the future in which mankind has gone out to the stars and colonized other planets. Meanwhile, back on good old Terra Firma, crime still exist which is what keeps New York City Homicide Detective Eve Dallas hopping. In this particular tale, she and her new husband are only just back from their honeymoon when she is called to investigate the murder of a former police officer; Captain Martin Greenleaf. Upon arriving at the scene, Eve discovers the killer, having shot the retired chief, then attempted to make it appear as if Greenleaf had shot himself. Whereas Eve quickly sees through the subterfuge clearly recognizing the flimsy scenario for what it is.

But why try to disguise it as a suicide? It also doesn’t help her case that Greenleaf, while an active cop, was the head of the Internal Affairs Department and, during his lengthy career, he put away lots of crooked cops. Thus the list of possible suspects is a long one indeed. Dallas realizes the only way she’ll ever solve the case is to meticulous go through all of Greenleaf’s past files. Somewhere in them is the identity of his killer. In other words good old fashion, tedious, boring, police work. 

This is our first encounter with J.D. Robb and we found the first half of “Payback in Death” slow going. Granted the lengthy set-up is necessary, but at the same time not overly conducive to turning the pages. Thankfully the story does shift into a faster pace by the second half as Eve begins to rely more and more on her gut instincts. We should mention this book is part of a series and loyal readers will most likely appreciate reconnecting with her eclectic supporting cast. Whereas they were all strangers to this reviewer and we kept our focus on the mystery. 

In the end, Robb does balance a stogy police procedural with a deft look into how effective detectives employ a basic knowledge of both psychology and criminal law merging the two to conform to the age old truism; people only kill for one of two reasons, love or money. Now let’s see if you can figure out which one before Eve Dallas does.

Monday, September 25, 2023




A Pendergast Novel

By Preston & Child

Grand Central Publishing

400 pgs


We’ve a good friend who every Christmas sends us a book. Many years ago he sent along “The Cabinet of Curiosities,” a thriller by Preston and Child that introduced us to FBI Special Agent Pendergast. It was the third in the series featuring this truly remarkable hero who is easily one of the greatest pulp protagonist ever created. The wealthy investigator with the peculiar Southern heritage we soon discovered was one quarter the Shadow, one quarter Sherlock Holmes, and one quarter Chandu the Magician. We’ll divulge that final quarter in a few minutes. 

As a dedicated lover of pulp fiction, we were instantly enamored and soon became a dedicated fan. Although the third in the series, “Cabinet of Curiosities” was a definitive shift in the saga as it not only introduced Constance Green, a nearly immortal young lady who would become Pendergast’s ward, but also the insidious evil scientist Dr. Leng. By that book’s finale, the series was clearly propelled into the genre of the fantastic. Now, seventeen books later, Preston and Child have come full circle and revived that villain in a truly remarkable tale. 

Spoiler alert. “The Cabinet of Dr. Leng” is only the first part of the story and ends with a dire cliffhanger. At the end of the previous adventure, Constance managed to time-travel back into the past; her goal to find and kill Dr. Leng. She left Pendergast a note asking him not to follow her. Naturally, he ignores it and manages to reconstruct the ruined time machine to go after her. And now, after all these great stories, we see he is also one quarter Captain Future.

From that first book, the Pendergast series has been our favorite new pulp series. It is exciting, innovative, fresh; full of wild, craziness with remarkable, heroic characters and the most black-hearted monsters and villains. “The Cabinet of Dr. Leng” is unrelenting in its pacing and we cannot wait for the second half to arrive. Oh, yeah.

Wednesday, September 13, 2023




An Isaac Bell Adventure

By Jack Du Brul


462 pgs

Having become so damn popular with his modern pulp thrillers featuring Dirk Pitt, the late author Clive Cussler went on to create three other series that would be handed off to other writers but bear his name. These included Kurt Austin Adventures, the Sam & Remi Fargo Adventures and finally the Isaac Bell Adventures. Bell, a turn of the century detective for the Van Dorn Detective Agency first appeared in Cussler’s novel, “The Chase.” After this auspicious debut, his next nine books were penned by Justin Scott. All of these were terrific and we enjoyed them thoroughly. Then most recently, Scott was replaced on book ten by Jack Du Brul, another veteran scribe of Cussler’s posse.

“Saboteur” is the eleventh in the series and Du Brul’s second. It is a wonderful, beautifully researched gem that has Bell chasing a secret band of Panamanian revolutionaries set on disrupting the building of the Panama Canal. Starting with the attempted assignation of a U.S. Senator in San Diego, the clues indicate the assassins were part of this South American group known as the Red Vipers. Arriving in Panama, Bell witnesses a horrific act of terrorism that leads to the death twenty-eight men. Enraged by the savagery of the attack, Bell is determined to find the rebels and stop them. Along the way he begins to suspect the Red Vipers may only be a subterfuge to hide the real villains. He deduces the may be agents of a foreign power intent on stopping America’s economic growth and influence on the world’s stage.

As he gets closer to unmasking the spies, Bell soon becomes a target. These fanatics will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. “Saboteur” is another great entry into this well received series and Du Brul does Cussler’s legacy proud. Not to be missed.

Thursday, August 31, 2023




A Walker/Tamiko L.A.P.D. Novel

By Paul Bishop

Wolfpack Publishing

313 pgs


Even since getting hooked on the late Ed McBain’s cop/mystery series, the 87th Precinct, we’ve enjoyed reading cop novels. Familiar with the fact that writer Paul Bishop is a veteran, highly decorated, former L.A. P.D. detective; our expectations for this book were high.

 The year is 1977 and police officer Calico Jack Walker is going to retire after thirty years on the force. It is a bitter-sweet time in Calico’s life as he’s not at all certain his plans to start a boat chartering business with his son Ren will fill his future with the same thrills and satisfaction he experienced on the city streets. He’s also become ambivalent of turning loose his rookie partner, Tina Tamiko, to spread her own wings. Under his mentorship she’s become a really good cop with all the right skills and survival instincts. What’s confusing things is they are becoming romantically involved. Ouch. 

As if all this wasn’t enough to occupy Calico’s few remaining days, he, and Tamiko, are challenged by two fellow officers, Stack and Thurman, to a race to be run during one single duty shift from Los Angeles to Los Vegas and back again. It is an old unauthorized escapade most believe a myth and realistically impossible. Be that as it may, Stack, having been publicly embarrassed by Tamiko on several occasions, won’t rescind his challenge and the race is on.

Meanwhile, in the state penitentiary, a murderous inmate puts out a contract on Calico’s life so that he won’t be around to screw up the killer’s upcoming parole hearing. Then there’s the British gangster planning a million dollar heist at the very casino that is the race drivers’ destination and turn around point. “Hot Pursuit” is just that and from page to page, Bishop keeps the metal to pedal, delivering a high octane, action packed thriller at the same time introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters you won’t soon forget. This one’s a winner, friends, all the way to the finish line.

Monday, August 14, 2023




A Nero Wolfe Mystery

By Robert Goldsborough

211 pgs

We always look forward to new Nero Wolfe mysteries by Robert Goldsborough and have been ever grateful that he picked up the series after creator Rex Stout’s death. Goldsborough instinctively realized the charm and success of the series was always its characters; with the actual cases taking a back seat; albeit still thoughtful and appreciated. Thus in several of his recent entries, we’ve seen the spotlight put on supporting characters ala Police Inspector Kramer and then we had the fun adventure of Archie Goodwin’s trip home allowing us to meet his mother.  

In this latest tale, he continues that trend with a delightful look at Archie’s paramour, the lovely and witty Lily Rowan. The wealthy socialite, as we’ve come to know her, devotes most of her time, and money, to charities and other admirable social causes. It is she who gets the case rolling when she tells Archie that one of her close friends, Maureen Carr, has mysterious disappeared. The young woman, a wealth heiress, like Lily, spends much of her time supporting worthy causes. When she goes missing for several weeks, Lily becomes concerned and Archie agrees to help look into the matter. Soon their investigation draws Wolfe into the affair and once again our familiar mystery train is back on well traveled tracks. 

“The Missing Heiress” is another dandy foray with all the usual suspects, twists and turns, leading to murder and the always anticipated house gathering of suspects at its finale. What more can we say? Except to hope Mr. Goldsborough won’t be long and writing another.

Tuesday, August 08, 2023




Levon Cade # 4

By Chuck Dixon

Rough Edges Press

205 pgs


If you’re following this series, and from what we’ve gathered on-line its overwhelming success proves you are, then you are already aware Dixon’s story continues from one book to the next. Thus, having to flee the events that transpired in the northern winter wilds of Maine, fugitive Levon Cade and his young daughter, Merry, flee south in hopes of evading their pursuers; agents from the FBI, Homeland Security and the Treasury. Oh yeah, when this tough ex-Marine kicks the hornet’s nest, all kinds of chaos erupts.

In Cade’s possession are several duffel bags filled with money, some real, others counterfeit; plus uncut diamonds. All part of a stash he stumbled upon in the last book. His only goal now is to reach the home of his former Marine mentor, Gunny Leffertz where he and Merry will find sanctuary. Cade, having been trained in evasive tactics while in the military knows all the tricks and manages to stay one step of his hunters.

Kudos to Dixon for detailing his characters savvy in such a way that seems totally realistic and it is obvious the writer’s research is spot on. 

Still a moment arrives when Cade has to part with Merry for her own safety by putting her on a train and leading pursuers away from her. It’s an emotional juncture in the chase and only heightens the suspense already created. Both Cade and his child will encounter evil forces on their separate routes to reunion and to call this story a nail-biter is only doing it justice. The Levon Cade series is one of the finest in action thriller fiction today. If you’re one of the few not already enjoying the hell out of it, just what are you waiting for? An invitation? Considered given.

Friday, August 04, 2023

CAPTAIN FUTURE - The Horror At Jupiter



The Horror at Jupiter

By Allen Steele

Amazing Selects

159 pgs


With the publication of this book, writer Allen Steele wraps up his four volume saga featuring Edmond Hamilton’s pulp hero Captain Future. With the series, Steele did not change Future and his Futuremen as much as revamp them for modern readers. To that end he succeeded and each of the books has been a fun, wild, space adventure that respectfully paid homage to those classic rough edged magazines of the 30s and 40s. This book, the finale, is no exception. In fact it is easily the best with a non-stop pacing any pulp writer would have applauded. 

“The Horror at Jupiter” picks up where the third entry, “1,500 Light Years from Home” ended. Captain Future, aka Curt Newton, has shot and supposedly killed the President of the Solar Coalition after having been brainwashed his arch enemy, the Magician of Mars, Ul Quorn. Without giving away too much, let’s just say things are not what they seem and President Carthew not only survives but Curt is freed of his mental imprisonment and once more put in charge of foiling Ul Quorn’s newest threat to the planet Earth.

On a distant alien world, Ul Quorn has come into possession of a giant space machine with enough firepower to destroy a planet. Shades of Star War’s Death Star, Steel’s Vengeance of Kosk may look like a 70s disco ball, but its threat is no laughing matter. Quorn has it appear out of hyper-space in orbit around Jupiter, along with his own command ship. He then immediately notifies the President that unless his demands are met with hour, he will destroy the Earth. The renegade scientist’s scheme is to achieve independence for several rebel colonies in the Solar System and ultimately establish his own empire all under the guise of being a freedom fighter.

With the clock clicking away, Captain Future and his team, Brain, Otho and Grag must devise a plan to foil the madman’s nightmarish threat and once again save the day. How they do so is what kept this reviewer rapidly turning pages; unable to put the book down until its climatic and totally satisfying conclusion. Honestly, that story alone will have you cheering but there’s more. Yup. Steele then offers up a truly fascinating and equally entertaining essay on Space Opera. Familiar with perhaps 50% of this stuff, we truly appreciated his showcasing those tidbids of science-fiction history we were not aware of it. Thanks so much, Allen Steele and please, give us more Captain Future.

Saturday, July 29, 2023




By Wayne Carey

Bold Venture Press

236 pgs


With “Death Waits in Shanghai,” New Pulp writer Wayne Carey introduces one of his most intriguing heroes ever, John Falco. The son of a New York gangster, Falco abhors his family’s business. He runs away to China where he is taken into a Shaolin monastery and taught their way of living to include martial arts. Settling in Hong Kong and soon befriends both a former Irish revolutionist named Flanagan and a former Zulu prince, Mzoma. Once their partnership is established, Falco directs their affairs to helping others in trouble. One can’t help reading this stuff and not recall previous classic pulp teams ala Doc Savage and his crew.

Now all this is backstory. This story begins with the kidnapping of a young American woman living in San Francisco. Her father being a U.S. Senator, the local FBI contacts Falco requesting his assistance in finding her. Her kidnapper proves to be a small time crook named Lee Wong and he is going to smuggle the girl to China aboard a luxury liner. Falco and company procure passage and soon all of them are sailing across the Pacific. During the trip Falco is introduced to Wong’s sister, Jiao; a beauty who intrigues him. But is she part of her brother’s plot or an innocent bystander brought along to misdirect pursuers? Falco and his companions fail to find the missing daughter by the time the boat arrives in Honolulu. He then hopes to find the girl with the aid of the local police but once again Wong eludes him, departing the very next morning aboard a Japanese ship bound for Shanghai.

So the chase continues to the Far East with the action moving from Shanghai, then to Hong Kong and finally back to Shanghai. Against this backdrop are the historical machinations ala the Chinese Communist insurgency to overthrow the government at the same time Japan’s encroaching continues to grow bolder with the threat of immanent invasion. 

Wayne Carey is one of the real bright stars in the New Pulp fiction today and “Death Waits in Shanghai” soundly proves that claim. Great characters, exotic locales and non-stop action. What more could any serious pulp fan want?

Saturday, July 22, 2023



Tales of Tom Mix

By Scott McCrea

DS Productions

128 pgs


This is the second in a series starring the late cinema western star, Tom Mix and it is rip-roaring actioner from the first page to the left. In this tale, Mix, a semi-retired marshal, has gone back to work for the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show. At the same time two different events are on a collision course which will draw him into one of the most dangerous situations of his life.


Three Mexican brothers, the Cabrerras, have learned that he U.S. government is shipping new five dollar bill plates to Washington. They plan on stealing those plates and printing their own money. At the same time, in nearby Oklahoma, Comanche renegade Red Wolf as assembled a band of fanatical young warriors whose goal is to create a new Indian rebellion. They are going to destroy as many white towns and settlements as possible in the hopes of rallying all tribes to their cause.

These disparate plots come together when the Cabrerras, fleeing with the stolen plates, commandeer a hot-air balloon from the Wild West Show to use for their escape from the law. In the process they kidnap an elderly couple and the show’s top magician, Mr. Mirakle and his daughter Ima.  Arriving just as the balloon is lifting off the ground, Mix manages to grab hold of one of the anchor ropes and is instantly lifted aloft with the fleeing bandits.

After forty eight hours, the balloon eventually descends on a rugged plateau in Oklahoma known as Black Mesa; only a few miles from Red Wolf’s camp. Thus the legendary Mix finds himself battling on two fronts while at the same time having to protect the innocent hostages. “Savage Mesa” is a near perfect western, wonderfully written and filled with memorable characters, both noble and evil. The pacing is swift so buckle up and hold on tight. This one is terrific.


Friday, July 21, 2023




Issue No 8 : Full Color Edition

Edited by Robert Deis & Bill Cunningham

Pulp 2.0

163 pgs


Every time a new issue of Men’s Adventure Quarterly shows up, we’re reminded of Christmas morning wondering what’s hidden in those brightly wrapped boxes under the tree. In this case, the anticipation is what’s between the beautiful, and skillfully designed covers. To date, we’ve yet to be disappointed. In fact the actual, articles and fiction only seem to getter better with each new issue. Number 8 is no exception.  

The theme is “hit-men” and Editor Bob Deis digs deep into his bag of goodies to offer up eight exceptional stories from the various MAMs of the 50s and 60s. It would be hard to pick a favorite from this all star collection, but if forced, we’d lean to “The Hit Man Who Turned Out To Be A Woman.” Deis has an encyclopedic knowledge of hundreds of writers and artists who worked for those periodicals and his enthusiasm for introducing us to them to the world is contagious. 

As for fact articles, Gary Lovisi’s interview with Betty Brosmer was a really nice bonus. Whereas most readers of this series are all too familiar with brunette Betty Page, it is nice to see Lovisi shine the spotlight on the blonde bombshell whose own career was equally stellar. That she ended that life by marrying bodybuilding promoter and celebrity Joe Weider was a surprise to this reviewer who fondly recalls those ads in comics when the skinny kid got sand kicked in his face…before he took Weider’s at home course.  

As always all this reading treasure is accentuated with great, classic artwork from the MAMs deftly layout out by design guru, Editor Bill Cunningham. In all, a fantastic issue that tips its hat to the bad guys and those so with panache. Pick up a copy at Amazon. You can thank me later.

Friday, July 14, 2023




By Max Allan Collins

Illustrated by Fay Dalton

Neo Text

118 pgs


This is Collins’ second book featuring Hollywood debutante turned detective, Fancy Anders, set in the early days of World War II. What with Pearl Harbor fresh in the minds of most Americans, the people in Los Angeles right worry about a possible Japanese invasion and the Army quickly establishes military outpost in the hills overlooking the city. Many of these set up with anti-aircraft artillery installations.

With that many boys in uniform soon flooding the streets of Hollywood, the movie community comes together under the leadership of actors John Garfield and Bette Davis to open a canteen exclusively to cater to these servicemen and staffed by cinema stars and young, beautiful ingénues.

When Army Intelligence learns of possible enemy saboteurs targeting the famous Hollywood Canteen, Fancy is recruited, along with several of her girl friends, to pose as canteen hostesses and ferret out the foreign agents. Once again, Collins uses his considerable imagination to drop the reader into the middle of one of Hollywood’s most memorable locales. Through his words, it is so easy to see the beautiful ladies, the eager young men away from home and hear the big band music. It all comes alive against a backdrop of a world turned upside in the throes of war.

“Fancy Anders – For the Boys” is a fun read. Especially for this reviewer, whose father, Pfc. George Fortier served on one of those gun crews and spend his 1942 Thanksgiving, along with two other men, at the home of crooner Bing Crosby and his family. All before he shipped out for the Philippines and three years of hell.

Tuesday, July 11, 2023




A Tale from Champion City

By J. Walt Layne

Champion City Press

150 pgs


Supposedly this particular title is one of a series created by the writer. Unfamiliar with those, we can only discuss the prevalent events and plots of this one book. Which is itself a puzzling proposition as taken as a whole, “Russian Roulette” comes off as an odd mash up of two different stories.  

The story takes place in the early 70s at the height of the Cold War between the Soviets and the rest of the world. Klaus and Ivana are a married couple trained by the Russian government from an early age to be assassins. As the book opens, due to behind the scenes Kremlin politics, the two stage the public murder of a group of private Russian industrialist at a highly publicized soccer match. At the same, both of them have agreed once the assignment is completed, they will defect to the United States with the help of C.I.A. operatives.  

This is the setting for the first three fourths of the book and it is by one far one of the most thrilling, well produced action chases ever put on paper. From the desperate American spies and the obsessed Russian hunters, the story moves across East Germany like a rocket blast compelling this reader to whip through the pages. Layne has the ability to suck us in, wondering with every new mile if the good guys are going to win, or fall to the relentless pursuit of their foes.  

Then, as this all comes to a climatic wrap up, the book unexpected jumps ahead by a few years and suddenly we’re dropped into suburban Champion City U.SA. where our former KGB killers are now living new lives as normal…even boring, U.S. citizens. But all is not happy, as with their new quieter careers, Ivana and Klaus find themselves at odds and drifting apart. As if that wasn’t jarring enough, we are then introduced to a Champion City police officer named Bill Davis and brought into his world. Davis is dealing with a rash of murders all pointing back to two rival city gangs. But before he can get uncover any further details, the book ends.  It is too abrupt and closing. 

J. Walt Layne knows how to tell a story. Whereas he would have served his readers better had he ended the book with the Klaus and Ivana epilogue and left Bill Davis’ chapters for another time and title. Is “Russian Roulette” worth your time? Yes, definitely. Just be ready for that Pg # 124 drop-off.

Saturday, July 08, 2023




A Science Fiction Private Eye Novel

By Duane Spurlock

InterroBang Tales

303 pgs


Every now and then a book comes along that pretty much spins readers around as if caught in a carnival ride. Spurlock’s story takes place in an alaternate Earth where Native Americans still are active and present in modern times; New York is called New Angouleme and hidden among the billions of humans on the planet are agents of outer space alien races; both friendly and not so friendly.

The protagonist of our tale is one such agent known as Space Detective. He poses as a private eye who ears a bright red helmet over his head all the time. He’s one of the good aliens and his sidekick, is a Plutonian AI who lives in a canister hidden somewhere in his office. Space Detective hears his pal via telepathy.

When strange events begin happening throughout the city, all teenagers going wild because of comic books and factory works becoming violent due to tainted beer, Space Detective suspects these are diversions masking an all out invasion. When he’s proven correct, it takes all his energy and unique gadgets to foil the enemy and save the planet.

“Space Detective” is a truly remarkable work of imagination run riot and if you are looking for something truly “out there” then look no further. This book is simply weird from the first page to the last in a delightful, fun way. Nuff said.



Wednesday, June 14, 2023




By Wayne Carey

Pro Se Press

181 pgs


For years young readers thrilled to the adventures of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. Now leave it to New Pulp scribe Wayne Carey to give us a thriller featuring a family made up of two brothers and one sister. The Hillstrands siblings, Shawn, Bear (a nickname Edward) and Kira are the children of a famous husband and wife writing couple. While parents are on a cross-country promotional tour for their latest book, the trio is sent to the Caribbean island of San Bernardo to vacation with their Aunt Marilyn. Though the teens appreciate the natural beauty and serenity of island life, they soon become bored, missing their friends back home.

But before restlessness sets in, several incidents occur involving the appearances of zombie-like beings attacking locals from the nearby fishing town. Not one to shy away from adventure, Bear, sets out to investigate despite the arguments of the more cautious and older Shawn. When Bear and a younger boy name Skylar discover the remains of an old man, things heat up fast. The local authorities believe the victim fell prey to an island predator, but the Hillstrands aren’t convinced.

They learn there is a clinic on the island run by a scientist named Hector Spinoza and there appears to be a connection with the facility and the zombie sightings. Then a powerful Colombian military figure arrives at the clinic and the junior detectives’ imaginations run riot. Has someone found a way to make zombies? And if so, are they doing it for a would-be dictator to help him stage coup in his home country?

Writer Wayne Carey once again spins a truly fantastic adventure mixing both horror and political intrigue as only he can. “Zombie Island” with all its twists and turns is a terrific book filled with wonderful new heroes. Looking for something new to read this summer, check this one out. You can thank me later.

Friday, June 09, 2023




1,500 Light Years From Home

By Allen Steele

Amazing Selects

164 pgs


This is the third entry in writer Allen Steel’s four-part Captain Future science fiction adventure and it is a rocket blast fun. Picking up where “The Guns of Pluto” ended with a terrific cliffhanger. Curt Newton, aka Captain Future, had been captured by his arch enemy Ul Quorn and shanghaied to an alien star system via a time-spanning wormhole. Ul Quorn is obsessed with the ancient race from the planet Deneb that supposedly visited out Earth millions of years earlier. As to why he wants to contact them is the true mystery of the series. 

What Ul Quorn, also known as the Magian of Mars, does not know is that one of Curt’s Futuremen, cyborg Dr. Simon Wright managed to stowaway on the spacecraft before it launched. Now, connected with Curt view the mental relay system known as “ani” he plots to rescue his friend and make good their escape. Before this can transpire, Curt learns the small, ectoplastic Denebian pet creature his team had discovered is actually a programmed, organic Denebian translator willing to help him learn the history of the vaquished empire and in so doing defeat Ul Quorn. 

As ever, Allen Steele’s story-telling is a wonderfully balanced mixture of action, adventure and thought provoking concepts. When the reasons of the crime lord’s machinations come to light, this reviewer couldn’t argue the warped rationalization for his actions. “1,500 Light Years From Home” works on many levels. Though staying true to known science, it still manages to capture the spills and thrills of classic pulp space operas. Oh, and did we mention it ends with as yet another doozy cliffhanger?  All in all a terrific with a rather unique and funny bonus feature. Not to be missed.

Final note, we totally loved Jon Eno’s cover and M.D. Jackson’s interior illustrations.