Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Popular Detective, November 1949

So I was talking about crime fiction last post, annd I happen to have completed a scan in the genre last week, so I think I'll go with a little selection of detective pulp scans over the coming days. McCoy did the edits for this issue, so big thanks to him. He makes these covers and spines look like they just hopped off the shelf.

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Get the scan here.

The cover painting is a nice take on the second novelette, the yellow pajamas are unmistakable. I can't identify the artist.


The rundown-

The pulp opens with "Murder Off Honduras," a nice whodunit in exotic locale. The captain of a small fishing boat takes a group of clients on a trip for tarpon, fishing all night (night fishing for tarpon is truly a thrill if you ever get the chance) and playing poker by day. The game's big winner turns up dead, the dough is gone, and the killer must be one of the clients, crew, or captain. Mix in a little romance, a squall, and the island alcade, and you get a unique yarn. Next up, "The Only Way Out." The reform candidate has just swept into city hall, and a police crackdown is coming. Can our mob accountant get out while the getting is good or must he cave to the cops trying to get him to squeal? The hypothetical moves quickly into the brutal, an interesting turn of events. A nice page on the author, Bruno Fischer, here.

Next up, the other novella, "The Dead Don't Die". A bit of eerie fiction here, a ghost story. Set on the windblown cliffs on the family estate of his newlywed friend, our protagonist wades into an argument on whether it's a good idea to go hunting the cursed family jewels. A haunted past echoes into the present, supernatural goings-on? Maybe, maybe not... Next up, "A Heel and his Loot," in which our man Dooley a ship cook ashore discovers his friend The Swede a baker who shares his galley in a bar despondent, having been suckered by a dame. Can she sucker Dooley too? Next up, "An Eye for an Eye," a witness to murder catches a bullet and survives. The bad news? The cops want to use him for bait. Then, "Fists for Mercura," how do you take down a killer without drawing blood? It takes an engineer...and lastly, the piece I might have enjoyed most, Joe Archibald's "Cheesecake and Willie," a comedic caper in which Detective Willie thinks fast, too fast. I laughed my way through this one, maybe Archibald picked up a knack for comedy from his days working on The Funnies at Dell.

Enjoy! More dicks and dames coming your way next time.


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