Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Top 5 Posts Of 2015

The Top Five Posts of 2015
 Presenting the top 5 for the blog for the whole year of 2015
 
#1
From October 18th 
The Pace That Kills by William Fuller


#2
From March 28th
The Black Hole (1979)


#3
From March 9th
1967 Book Signup
   

#4
From March 24th
More Double Trouble
 
 
 

#5 
From January 9th
Bare Trap by Frank Kane 



See you in 2016

Monday, December 28, 2015

Passport To Danger by Jessyca Paull

Terror prowls the streets of Paris, pursuing her everywhere, as she plunges into the nightmare of being mistaken for a spy


Tracy stared at the words. Where did the newspaper get that story? That cold report on her own murder in a dingy Paris hotel?

At first, Tracy Larrimore was too stunned to be frightened. Terror came slowly, with chilling, deliberate precision...

When she learned that her passport was found in the mysterious corpse's rigid hands - making it impossible for Tracy to prove who she was...

When the whispering voice demanded her return to America - offering a small fortune if she obeyed......

When the woman with the veil kidnapped her in broad daylight, her gun pointed straight at Tracy's head.

Nerve-chilling terror came slowly but relentlessly as Tracy became entanglesd in the intrigue of vicious espionage. With a ruthless enemy who wanted her dead for a sinister secret she did not realize she possessed... and her only ally a tall, young stranger she loved, but knew she could not trust.

Printing History
 Written by Julia Perceval and Rosaylmer Burger

Universal Publishing and Distributing Corp 
Award Books
#303  (1968)
#1250 (1973)

Sunday, December 27, 2015

My Gun Is Quick by Mickey Spillane

Mike Hammer Mystery



Mike Hammer is meeting a red-headed prostitute in a diner. She is hassled by a man she appears to know and fear but Mike deals with him swiftly. Despite having little conversation, he gives her some money to get a real job and leaves. The next day she is found dead, the victim of an apparent hit-and-run accident. Mike does not believe this and proceeds to hunt down her murderers and in the process he uncovers a massive and powerful prostitution ring in New York.

 Printing History
Written by Frank Morrison Spillane (1918-2006)

E. P. Dutton
1950

The Film

1957
Directed by Phil Victor and George White


 Cast

Robert Bray as Mike Hammer
Whitney Blake as Nancy Williams
Donald Randolph as Colonel Holloway
Gina Core as Maria Teresa Garcia
Pamela Duncan as Velda
Booth Colman as Pat Chambers

Friday, December 25, 2015

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Miracle On 34th Street (1947)

Taking place between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day in New York City, this film focuses on the impact of a department store Santa Claus who claims to be the real Santa.


Kris Kringle, a bearded old gent who is the living image of Santa Claus, is serving as a last-minute replacement for the drunken Santa who was to have led Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, Kringle is offered a job as a Macy's toy-department Santa. The Supervisor soon begins having second thoughts about hiring Kris. It's bad enough that he is laboring under the delusion that he's the genuine Saint Nick. But when he begins advising customers to shop elsewhere for toys that they can't find at Macy's, he's gone too far!

 Based on the story by
Valentine Davies

Directed by
George Seaton

Cast
Maureen O'Hara as Doris Walker.
John Payne as Frederick M. "Fred" Gailey
Edmund Gwenn as Kris Kringle
Natalie Wood as Susan Walker
Porter Hall as Granville Sawyer
William Frawley as Charlie Halloran
Jerome Cowan as District Attorney Thomas Mara
 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS by Elizabeth McIntosh


The daring missions and cloak-and-dagger skullduggery of America's World War II intelligence agency, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), are well documented and have become the stuff of legend. Yet the contributions of the four thousand women who made up one-fifth of the OSS staff have gone largely unheralded.


A seasoned journalist and veteran of sensitive OSS and CIA operations, Elizabeth McIntosh draws on her own experiences and interviews with more than a hundred other OSS women to reveal some of the most tantalizing stories and best-kept secrets of the war in Europe and Asia. McIntosh weaves intimate portraits of dozens of remarkable women into the storied development and operation of the OSS in the 1940s. Along with famous names like Julia Child and Marlene Dietrich, one will discover such intrepid agents as Amy Thorpe, who seduced a Vichy official and stole naval codes from the French embassy. And Virginia Hall, who earned a Distinguished Service Cross for her work with the French resistance running an underground railroad for downed fliers; and others who recruited double agents, pioneered propaganda and subversion techniques, and tracked the infamous Nazi commando Otto Skorzeny. 

Printing History
Written by Elizabeth P. McIntosh (1915-2015)

Random House Publishing Group
1999

Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Vulture Is A Patient Bird by James Hadley Chase


Safari To Slaughter 

Cover by Beverly LeBarrow
  A brilliant but sadistic safe breaker
A beautiful professional seductress
An expert young white hunter
And an ace pilot with a shady past

This was the team undercover operator Armo Shalik assembled to steal the priceless Borgia ring from millionaire Max Kahlenberg's closely guarded fortress in the remote and deadly African bush. But Kahlenberg found out they were coming, and the gang's expedition turned into a strictly one way safari....to slaughter. 


Printing History
René Lodge Brabazon Raymond (1906-1985)

Robert Hale 1969

Granada Publishing
ISBN 586 03540 
copyright 1970

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

The Shankill Road Contract by Philip Atlee

Joe Gall Challenges A Bizarre Killer in Ireland


Gall’s assignment is to stop an assassin who was suspected of 50+ brutal eliminations in the political strife of Northern Ireland and was rumored to be upping the ante by killing a major official in the British government.  The assassin is an American. Worse, he is the son of a member of the U.S. Cabinet.

Printing History
Written by James Philip Atlee (1915-1991)

Fawcett Gold Medal Books
  T2819
1973

Monday, November 2, 2015

Drum Beat:Madrid by Stephen Marlowe

In the city notorious for mystery and intrigue, 
Chester Drum tangles with a pair of flaming 
senoritas who have murder in their hearts.



Chester Drum accompanies a sometimes friend to Spain where the man was planning to get married. The fact that the man was Axel Spade, wanted in many countries including Spain just made it more interesting. And the fact that they learn about twenty million dollars in missing Spanish gold.


Printing History 
Written by Milton Lesser (1928-2008)

Fawcet Gold Medal
1966

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Saturday)

Today we end our journey through the Scary Halloween Week. 
We started with the Carter Brown tale, So What killed The Vampire.
We will end with his tale, True Son of The Beast. 

True Son Of the Beast
by Carter Brown

Robert McGinnis Cover
then the moon merged from behind  a cloud bank and I could see level ground ahead of me, dotted with an occasional stunted brush. It figured I must be getting close to the river, so I managed to stop sobbing for breath and kept on walking. The next moment an owl hooted loudly close by, and almost put me into orbit........There was no reason to panic just because I was all on my own. lost in a strange country, and would probably never find civilization. And that flickering blue light...was strictly a figment of my imagination.......The next moment I was involved in a two sided conversation with myself....all the time I had been having that two way conversation with myself my idiot legs had gone walking all by themselves, and now I was too close not to see the thing lying on the ground directly in font of me....The closer I got the more it it looked like somebody was just lying there on the ground....The guy was stark naked on the ground with a aping hole in his throat.......


 A country house full of sexy, sultry swingers,
but one was a witch with murder on her mind!

 There was a curse on the house, and a corpse with its throat cut open in the marsh. Screenwriter Larry Baker came to the strange island estate to bring superstar Trudi Lambert back to Hollywood. But he did not count on a house full of devil worshipers. Before the week was over there were lewd satanic orgies, strange creatures lurking in the darkness. And an island strewn with dead bodies. Baker's script called for sex, but the question was survival!

Printing History
Written by Allen G Yates (1923-1985)

Horwitz Publications, Inc
Numbered Series #153 1970 (1971?)
ISBN 7255 0106

New American Library
Signet Books
P4268 June 1970
Y8050 1978

Friday, October 30, 2015

Scary Haloween Week (Friday)

We are nearing the end of this year's Scary Halloween Week. 
Today's episode will be the classic.

It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown


With autumn already in full swing, the Peanuts gang prepares for Halloween. Linus van Pelt writes his annual letter to The Great Pumpkin, despite Charlie Brown's disbelief, Snoopy's laughter, Patty's assurance that the Great Pumpkin is a fake, and even his own sister Lucy's violent threat to make her brother stop. Only Sally, Charlie Brown's younger sister, who is smitten with Linus, supports him. When Linus goes out to mail the letter but cannot reach the mailbox, Lucy refuses to help him; so he uses his blanket to open the box, and throws in the letter. On Halloween night, the gang goes trick-or-treating. On the way, they stop at the pumpkin patch to ridicule Linus' missing the festivities, just as he did last year. Undeterred, Linus is convinced that the Great Pumpkin will come, and even persuades Sally to remain with him to wait.

Cast
Christopher Shea as Linus van Pelt
Peter Robbins as Charlie Brown
Gail DeFaria as "Pig-Pen"
Sally Dryer as Lucy van Pelt
Glenn Mendelson as Schroeder
Kathy Steinberg as Sally Brown
Ann Altieri as Violet/Frieda
Lisa DeFaria as Patty
Bill Melendez as Snoopy
 
Directed and Written by Charles M. Schulz
Directed by Bill Melendez








Thursday, October 29, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Thursday)

We are almost the end of the Scary Halloween week event. 
Let's turn to very eerie film aptly named "Halloween"

Halloween
1978

The film is set in the fictional Midwestern town of Haddonfield, Illinois. On Halloween night in 1963, a six-year-old Michael Myers dresses in a clown costume murders his older sister by stabbing her with a kitchen knife. Some fifteen years later he escapes from a psychiatric hospital and then returns home, and stalks high school student Laurie Strode and her friends. Michael's psychiatrist a Dr. Sam Loomis suspects Michael's cruel intentions, and follows him to Haddonfield to try to prevent him from killing.


Cast
Donald Pleasence as Dr. Loomis
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Nick Castle as Michael Myers (credited as "The Shape")
Charles Cyphers as Sheriff Leigh Brackett
Nancy Kyes as Annie Brackett
P. J. Soles as Lynda Van Der Klok
Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace
Brian Andrews as Tommy Doyle
John Michael Graham as Bob Simms
Sandy Johnson as Judith Margaret Myers
 
Directed by 
John Carpenter

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Wednesday)

We are in the middle of the Scary Halloween week. We will stay with the theme of vampires. Presenting today will be a comic that was started in the early 1970's.

The Tomb of Dracula


This horror comic book series was published by Marvel Comics from April 1972 to August 1979. The seeries featured a group of vampire hunters who fought Count Dracula and other menaces.

Writers
Gerry Conway, Archie Goodwin, Gardner Fox, Marv Wolfman

Series Run
April 1972 until August 1979
70 issues

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Tuesday)

We are back on day three of Scary Halloween Week. Today we will feature the cult classic way back from 1966, Dark Shadows. Dark Shadows ran from 1966 until 1971 and was a Gothic soap opera, depicting the lives of the Collins family in the fictional town of Collinsport, Maine. The series was made into a another series in 1991 and a film in 2012

Dark Shadows
1966-1971
Created by Dan Curtis


Starring 
Joan Bennett
Grayson Hall
Jonathan Frid
Nancy Barrett
Alexandra Moltke
Louis Edmonds
Kathryn Leigh Scott
David Selby
David Henesy
Lara Parker
Thayer David

The Film
2012


Directed by  
Tim Burton
Cast
Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins,
Michelle Pfeiffer as Elizabeth Collins Stoddard
Helena Bonham Carter as Dr. Julia Hoffman
Eva Green as Angelique Bouchard,
Jackie Earle Haley as Willie Loomis,
Jonny Lee Miller as Roger Collins
Bella Heathcote as Victoria Winters

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Monday)

Scary Halloween Week is back today and will continue it's run through Saturday,  Halloween. Scary Halloween will showcase a different mystery or horror event each day. A book, film, or television show will be featured.

Today we feature a CLASSIC

Dracula
Written by Abraham (Bram) Stoker (1847-1912)
The Novel 
(1897)

Introduces the character of the vampire Count Dracula,  The story is of his attempt to move from Transylvania to England so he may find new blood and spread the undead curse, and the battle between Dracula and a small group of men and women led by Professor Abraham Van Helsing. 

The Film
(1931)
Directed by
Tod Browning

Cast
Bela Lugosi as Count Dracula
Helen Chandler as Mina Seward
David Manners as John Harker
Dwight Frye as Renfield
Edward Van Sloan as Van Helsing
Herbert Bunston as Dr Seward
Frances Dade as Lucy Weston

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Scary Halloween Week (Sunday)

Scary Halloween Week kicks off today and will run through Saturday, which so happens to be Halloween this year. Just what is Scary Halloween week exactly? Well, Scary Halloween will showcase a different mystery or horror event. A book, film, or television show will be featured. 

Today we will start off with a old favorite

So What Killed The Vampire 
 by Carter Brown

When TV Writer Larry Baker stumbles through a comedy of horrors in an old haunted castle...Merrie England was never merrier or deadlier.

Robert McGinnis Cover
"Can I help it if the wall gave way?" In his crazy castle capers Larry Baker crashes through walls with ease of Superman. And somehow usually lands plunk in the middle of a lovely lady's bed. But Larry isn't really a sex maniac. Not quite. Even though the black-haired babe calls him seducer and the gamin-type blonde screams bloody murder.

Grant Roberts Cover
 When you up against a real live vampires, disappearing corpses, things that go wheesh in the night, plus a couple of gorgeous undressed gals guarantee to drive Larry up the wall. Something has to give. And when it does, with plenty of happy horrible hilarity! 


It was called Fearsome Grange and it's a natural for the supernatural. Larry baker and his sidekick Boris Silvka are there to create their new TV horror series right on location. The old 13th century castle has everything, slimy moat, revolving walls, secret passages, hidden treasure, and an ancient curse. In fact, it's made to order, right down to the unexpected bunch of murky monsters in residence. Perfectly cast and not in the script.

 
Printing History
Written by Alan G Yates (1923-1985)

Horwitz Publications Inc. 
Numbered Series #130 1966
International Edition Series #78 1975 
Published in Hong Kong

New American Library
Signet Books
D2859 March 1966
Y6549 1975

New English Library
Four Square Books
#1721 January 1967

Bonus Covers

USA

Germany

Monday, October 19, 2015

USA Fiction Challenge: Washington

After a 10 month hiatus we are back with the USA Fiction Challenge. This time around we will visit the Sate of Washington. Washington was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory which had been ceded by Britain in the Oregon Treaty as a settlement of the Oregon Boundary Dispute in 1846 and was admitted as the 42nd state in 1889. 

We will highlight the J.A. Jance title  
Improbable Cause



When the dentist is a sadist, an appointment can be murder...



The dentist was sitting bolt upright in his chair. Stone-cold dead. 
Homicide Detective J.P. Beaumont had plenty of suspects. Like the dentist's wife, who, after ten years of brutal beatings, certainly had the motive to kill. Or the pretty dental assistant, whose late night services would never appear on her resume. Or the ex-con who was the last person to see the dentist alive, and was an intimate friend of the widow. Beaumont knew he was closing in on his prey. But when a new piece of evidence surfaced, he discovered the true meaning of evil, and decided the killer should go free!

Bonus Covers




Printing History
Written by Judith Ann Jance (1944- )

Avon Books
  February1988
ISBN 380 75412

Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Pace That Kills by William Fuller

She was a tramp
Easy to take and easy to make
Then she fell in love

Cover by Tom Miller
The living was hard and the loving was easy

There was Harry's place.....
It was a dump, but the food was good. And there was sort of an evil charm about the place, way the hell out o the edge of nowhere

Then there were three women at Harry's place.....
Mary had everything, but wound up with only the memory one wild night.
Marge lived because she had too, and drank because she lived.
June had nothing but a sex filled past, and a sinful, future

There was a kid at Harry's place.....
A kid whose gun would make all of them be what they had never been before, and would never be again.

Cover by Mitchell Hooks
Print History
Written by William Fuller (1913-)

Dell Books
105
1956
 
B144
March 1960

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Six Million Dollar Man (1974-1978)

A former astronaut with bionic implants works for a fictional government office known as OSI. The series is based on the Martin Caidin novel Cyborg and ran from 1974 to 1978.


 Cast
Steve Austin (Lee Majors)
Oscar Goldman (Richard Anderson), Director of the OSI
Rudy Wells (Martin Balsam in pilot)
(Alan Oppenheimer, seasons 1 & 2)
(Martin E. Brooks, seasons 3–5)

Series ran for 99 episodes 

The Book


Printing History
Written by Martin Cadin (1927-1997)

Arbor House
ISBN 0-87795-025-3
April 1972

The Comic


Charlton Comics 
(1977-1978)

The Toys



The Game


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Apollo Legacy by Albert Barker

A deadly space virus
A beautiful girl who is its unwitting unknowing carrier
And amateur agent Reefe King on an espionage mission that delivers a chilling climax


The illicit affair between a noted Apollo astronaut and a female journalist has two unexpected results. The first was a pregnancy which might be trouble due to a space virus. The second is a strong interest in the relationship by the Soviets desiring some way to embarrass the American space program. To find a way out of the scandal, the CIA asks Reefe King to help.
Printing History
Written by Albert Barker (1900-1990) 

Universal Publishing and Distributing Corp
Award Books
A719S
September 1970

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Fabulous by Carter Brown

A cold corpse becomes a hot assignment to curvy blonde Mavis Seidlitz


   Printing History
Written by Allan G Yates (1923-1985)
Horwitz Publications, Inc
International Edition #9
September 1961

Note
Revised title of None But the Lethal Heart

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Passport To Danger (1954-1956)

The adventures of a United States diplomatic courier, as he travels to distant countries with important dispatches to American allies and dodges enemy agents.


 Cesar Romero (1907-1994) as Steve McQuinn

America's communications with friendly civilized nations is vital, and the nation's trust and confidence is placed in the hands of the diplomatic courier. Join Stephen McQuinn (Cesar Romero) as he travels the globe on assignment for the United States diplomatic corps in this fast-paced international espionage series.

Monday, September 21, 2015

50 Years Ago This Month (September)

50 Years Ago This Month

September 1965

The Eyes Of The Tiger 
by Manning Lee Stokes



Nick Carter is given the task of recovering some Nazi loot. This loot is from a Japanese temple that was presented to Adolph Hitler as a token of Axis partnership. As the story goes, the loot lay in a a Swiss bank account protected by a kill on sight order by two hand picked elite SS guards.


Five desperate people schemed to steal it:
  1. Hermann Goering, Reichsmarschall.
  2. Max Rader, Hitler's personal aide.
  3. Shikoku Hondo, Colonel of Japanese Intelligence.
  4. Baroness Elspeth von Stadt, Voluptuous double agent.
  5. Nick Carter, AXE agent.


Chamber of Horrors
The little room, buried in the living rock of the old schloss, reeked of evil and pain. Rader and his men did not wear black hoods and masks, but the effect was the same. They were torturers. The young baroness' feet were already anchored to the rack. She was screaming with terror. The curse of the gold statue with the ruby eyes was about to claim another victim......

George Gross Cover

 Printing History
Written by Manning Lee Stokes (1911-1976)

Universal Publishing And Distributing Corp
Award Books

A152F (September 1965)
A152F (August 1966)
A315X (1969)
AN1132 (1973)

Charter Books
ISBN 441 22407
January 1981

Mayflower Books
1967
ISBN 583 11028 
1970, 1970, 1974