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.