Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Top 5 Posts of 2013

To ring in the new year, the Top 5 posts of 2013

Quite a collection of mysteries and suspense

From  July 7th

From August 19th

From September 30th

From September 11th 

From November 18th

See you in 2014
Happy New Year

Monday, December 30, 2013

The Wind-Up Doll (Revised) by Carter Brown

Rick Holman investigates the love life of a Hollywood sensation in a fast-action thriller about movies, moguls, and murder.

Grant Roberts Cover
Did you hear about the murderous wind-up doll?
Rick Holman found it was no joke when the spring snapped.....

The screen siren reclined on a nine-foot bed wearing black silk pajamas just sheer enough to show why she was the international symbol of sex. When Toni Astor's latest Romeo does a fatal nose dive from a balcony, private eye Rick Holman draws the delectable challenge of interrogating a movie star. The dangerous challenge of trying to find out why the girl with the lethal curves is murder in men!

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

copyright 1963

Horwitz Publications, Inc
Numbered Series #116 (January 1964)
International Edition Series #48 (July 1965)
Double Edition Series #12A (1982)

New American Library
Signet Books
G2413 (January 1964)
T4826 (November 1971)
AE1629 (July 1982)

Other Covers


Hayakawa Books

The Japanese title is spelt wrong.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Terror in Turin by Steve White

S-Com #1

   A 50 million dollar ransom
and time is running out

Printing History
Written by Robert McGarvey (1948-)

Men of Action Series
Warner Books
ISBN 446 90992
October 1981

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Clear and Present Danger by Buck Sanders

   Ben Slayton T-Man

 U.S. Congressmen are being killed. The President is next.

The murder of a Congressman in Munich was the first. 
Then a Senator is killed while visiting in Italy. 
Now the Vice-President is in London to visit the Prime Minister and there is evidence he is being targeted.

Printing History
Written by Thomas Adcock (1947-)

copyright 1981
Warner Books

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Kidnapper Wears Curves by Carter Brown

Who wouldn't work on the angles of a case when the.......

 Printing History
Written by Alan G Yates (1922-1985)

Transport Publishing Company
for and on behalf of Horwitz Publications, Inc
Novelette Series
as Carter Brown "Lovely" Mystery

First Collectors' Series #8
w/Dimples Died De-Luxe & Murder Is A Broad

Second Collectors' Series Vol 1 #11
w/Shady Lady & Dimples Died Deluxe

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas 2013

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

A Corpse For Christmas
by Carter Brown

Police Lt Al Wheeler comes down the chimney and finds hot tempers, hot chicks, and one warm corpse.

Robert McGinnis Cover
  He was the death of the party. Right in the middle of the fun and games, Dean Carroll turns up dead under the bed. None of the guests really minded as he was an expert at spoiling things and the parties were the least of it. Almost anyone at the party could have killed him. About everyone wanted to and somebody did. It might have been: Toni, his beautiful wife, she hated him and would profit greatly by his death. Iris, the single blonde and his playmate until the game got too rough. And finally Janice, his fat and frowsy ex-mistress burning up at his brush off. It might have been any one of them who decided to play Santa Claus to give all of them a Christmas present of a lifetime...Dean Carroll's corpse.

Christmas stockings? Filled with goodies?
Depends on what kind. Al Wheeler doesn't need the holiday bit to wish for the well-filled stocking. He's in favor of lovely legs, and there on up, nicely stacked, at any month of the twelve month year. (Thirteen if you count Leap Year). "Excelsior!" says Al, which is not the only stuff they pack around the Christmas crockery. Al rises to that battle cry when he meets Maggie, the gal with the wild grey streak in her hair, the wild black and white disappearing dress, the wild recklessness of propriety, held together by only a drawstring.
Published in Mexico 1967
 Other Covers





United States


Printing History
Written by Alan G Yates (1922-1985)

Horwitz Publications Inc.
Numbered Series #126 (1965)
Titled A Corpse For Xmas

New American Library
Signet Books
D2683 (May 1965)
Q6153 (1974)
New English Library
Four Square Books
#1673 (December 1966)

This title was originally posted on December 24th 2010.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

James Bond
Tomorrow Never Dies

Directed by Roger Spottiswoode
Produced by Michael G. Wilson and Barbara Broccoli

Pierce Brosnan as James Bond
Jonathan Pryce as Elliot Carveror
Michelle Yeoh as Colonel Wai Lin
Teri Hatcher as Paris Carver
Götz Otto as Richard Stamper,
Ricky Jay as Henry Guptai
Joe Don Baker as Jack Wade
Vincent Schiavelli as Dr. Kaufman
Judi Dench as M, 
Desmond Llewelyn as Q.
Samantha Bond as Miss Moneypenny

The first James Bond film made after the death of producer Albert R. Broccoli

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bloodtrail To Mecca by Jack Canon

Agent N3 Makes A Savage Pilgrimage To Save The Sacred City!
George Gross Cover
 Killmaster #235
Israel's deadliest flying weapon has vanished over Libya. But the jet hasn't crashed, it's landed in the hands of a fanatical PLO splinter group. Nick Carter "Killmaster" must find the aircraft. It's a search that takes him into the heart of the Middle East terrorist underground to reveal a murderously twisted plot. If Nick fails, the terrorists will light the fuse on an explosive holy way that will stain the desert sands red with blood!

Printing History
Written by Jack Canon

Berkley Publishing Group
Jove Books
Published by arrangement with The Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
ISBN 515 09490
March 1988

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

 A murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners.

The story is set in Prohibition-era New York City. The main characters are former private detectives, Nick Charles and his young wife, Nora. Nick, son of a Greek immigrant who gave up his career to marry Nora, a wealthy socialite. He spends most of his time cheerfully getting drunk in hotel rooms and speakeasies. Nick and Nora have no children, but they do own a female Schnauzer named Asta.
Nick is drawn into investigating a murder. The case brings them in contact with a rather grotesque family, the Wynants, and also with an assortment of policemen and lowlifes. As they attempt to solve the case, Nick and Nora share a great deal of banter and witty dialogue, along with copious amounts of alcohol. The characization of Nick and Nora are often thought to reflect the personalities of Hammett and his long-time lover, Lillian Hellman.

The Movie

Directed by W.S. Van Dyke (1889-1943)

William Powell as Nick Charles
Myrna Loy as Nora Charles
Skippy as Asta, their dog
Maureen O'Sullivan as Dorothy Wynant
Nat Pendleton as Lt. John Guild
Minna Gombell as Mimi Wynant Jorgenson
Porter Hall as Herbert MacCaulay
Henry Wadsworth as Tommy
William Henry as Gilbert Wynant
Harold Huber as Arthur Nunheim
Cesar Romero as Chris Jorgenson
Natalie Moorhead as Julia Wolf
Edward Ellis as Clyde Wynant
Edward Brophy as Joe Morelli
Written by
Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) 

The Novels

Red Harvest (published on February 1, 1929)
The Dain Curse (July 19, 1929)
The Maltese Falcon (February 14, 1930)
The Glass Key (April 24, 1931)
The Thin Man (January 8, 1934)
Hammett never wrote another novel with Nick and Nora Charles. 

Friday, December 20, 2013

My Laugh Comes Last by James Hadley Chase

Farrell Brannigan, President of the National Californian Bank, is an extremely successful man. So when he builds another bank in an up-and-coming town on the Pacific coast, he is given worldwide publicity, and this new bank is hailed as 'the safest bank in the world'. But Brannigan's success came at a price and he made many enemies on his way up the ladder. It seems that one of them is now set on revenge and determined to destroy both the bank and Brannigan himself.

Printing History
Written by René Lodge Brabazon Raymond (1906-1985)

copyright 1977

Robert Hale 1977
Corgi 1978

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Frighteners by Donald Hamilton

A beautiful young bride, 
illegal arms,
and a man called Saturday mean trouble for Matt Helm

 Blood Wedding
Ont thing Matt Helm never worries about is the mission ahead. Even this one doesn't faze him. Pose as an oil-rich Texan groom to a bride half his age. The object: Pick up the trail of an illicit arms shipment deep in the heart of Mexico. If Matt fails, the whole country could blow hot and high in the inferno of revolution, right at America's footstep. But he doesn't know yet that he's not only the point man, he's the number one target......

Printing History
Written by Donald Hamilton (1916-2006)


Random House, Inc
Ballantine Books
Fawcett Gold Medal Books

ISBN 449 14521

May 1989

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Blondes Prefer Bullets by Carter Brown

She had a figure that would slay you

 Printing History
Alan G Yates (1922-1985)

Transport Publishing Company
for and on behalf of Horwitz Publications, Inc

Novelette Series
as A Genuine Lovely Mystery

First Collectors' Series
Volume 6
w/ Blackmail Beauty and Slightly Dead

Second Collectors' Series
Volume 1 #19
w/ Lipstick Larceny (aka Kiss Me Deadly)

Monday, December 16, 2013

Hollywood Losses

Hollywood lost four great actors in December 2013

Tom Laughlin (1931-2013)
He starred in the Billy Jack films of the 1970's. Laughlin's Billy Jack character was a heroic Native American ex-Army Green Beret who used his karate skills to fight racism and oppression. ran for U.S. president in 1992, 2004 and 2008.

 Peter O'Toole (1932-2013)
The stared at T.E. Lawrence in the film Lawrence of Arabia. Lawrence of Arabia was nominated for 10 Oscars and captured seven, including one for best picture.  At 222 minutes, it is the longest film to ever win the Academy Award.

Joan Fontaine (1917-2013)
Star of the Alfred Hitchcock classics Suspicion and Rebecca. She was the sister of Olivia de Havilland. She earned the best actress Oscar in her work in Suspicion.

 Audrey Totter (1918-2013)
Blond starlet who made her mark in such 1940s film noir classics as Lady in the Lake, The Set-Up and High Wall. Her breakthrough came in Lady in the Lake (1947), where she starred as a publishing executive who hires private detective Philip Marlowe, played by Robert Montgomery, to find the wife of her boss.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

2014 USA Fiction Challange: California

The next entry in the 2014 USA Fiction Challenge is the state of California. Since California is the United States' most populous state, one would expect loads of settings in the literary world. I can do this challenge one of a few different ways. My favorite author (Carter Brown) spotlights four of his characters in California:  Al Wheeler works out of the fictional city of Pine City. Randall Roberts worked out of San Fransisco, Rick Holman out of Hollywood, and Mavis Seidlitz out of Los Angeles. His other character, Danny Boyd made two appearances.  There is one series that I enjoyed that was set in another fictional city on California, the Kinsey Milhone series, set in Santa Teresa. Kinsey is the fiction character in Grafton's alphabet series. From A is For Alibi (1982) to W is For Wasted (2013).  

A little info on Kinsey. Her parents were killed in a car accident when she was 5. Her name is taken after the maiden name of her mother and her father's last name. In high school Kinsey was a  pot-smoking delinquent. After high school she went to a the local community college where she spent three semesters until she realized that academic life was not for her and joined the Santa Teresa police force. Two years later she decided life in uniform was not cut out for her and quit the police force to become an investigator for California Fidelity, the insurance company where her aunt had worked. The series starts off where Kinsey is 32 years old and by V is For Vengeance she is 38 years of age.  

The Novels
  1. "A" Is for Alibi (1982) 
  2. "B" Is for Burglar (1985)
  3. "C" Is for Corpse (1986)
  4. "D" Is for Deadbeat (1987)
  5. "E" Is for Evidence (1988)
  6. "F" Is for Fugitive (1989)
  7. "G" Is for Gumshoe (1990)
  8. "H" Is for Homicide (1991)
  9. "I" Is for Innocent (1992)
  10. "J" Is for Judgment (1993)
  11. "K" Is for Killer (1994)
  12. "L" Is for Lawless (1995)
  13. "M" Is for Malice (1996)
  14. "N" Is for Noose (1998)
  15. "O" Is for Outlaw (1999)
  16. "P" Is for Peril (2001)
  17. "Q" Is for Quarry (2002)
  18. "R" Is for Ricochet (2004)
  19. "S" Is for Silence (2005)
  20. "T" Is for Trespass (2007)
  21. "U" Is for Undertow (2009)
  22. "V" Is for Vengeance (2011)
  23. "W" Is for Wasted (2013)
 Series Written by 
Sue Grafton (1940- )

Friday, December 13, 2013

Dragonfire by David Hagberg

Agent N3 Takes On A Far East Crimelord And His Private Army!

George Gross Cover
Killmaster #234
Bangkok billionaire Robert Kangting has the cream of the diplomatic jet set in his pocket, a private army at his command, and suspicious ties with Chinese Communists. The CIA think they have him under control, until one of their probes backfires into a bloodbath. Now it's up to Nick Carter "Killmaster" either to clear Kangting, or to catch him red handed. But going undercover with the billionaire's over sexed daughter lands Nick in the clutches of a Far East expert in high-tech torture.

Printing History
Written by David Hagberg (1942- )

Berkley Publishing Group
Jove Books
Published by arrangement with The Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
ISBN 515 09444
February 1988

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Return From The Inferno by Mack Maloney

He Is The Last Hope Of A Ravaged America!

Freedom's Ordeal
The recently reunited American continent is divided once again. While a brutal army of Nordic conquerors occupies the lands of the east, a violent band of raging Asian mercenaries seeks to dominate the American West. Worse yet, America's greatest champion, a top-gun jet fighter pilot Hawk Hunter, last seen flying off on a one man suicide mission against the air armada that destroyed most of the United American aircraft, has seemingly vanished into thin air. But persistent rumors that Hawk Hunter's F-16XL fighter jet has been sighted high in the air over isolated regions of the country are whispered across the land. And stories of a rendezvous of the scattered elements United American troops at a top secret rallying point begin to circulate among the freedom loving citizens who keep the dream of a united American burning in their hearts. For them, the day of vengeance against their oppressor warlords draws near, and they look to the skies and hope.

Wingman #9

Printing History
written by Brian Kelleher
copyright 1991

Kensington Publishing Corp
Zebra Books
ISBN 8217 3510
September 1991

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Sex Machine by Troy Conway

Can adventurer Rod Damon
The Coxeman
Survive the challenge of a valley of demanding dolls?

The Red Chinese dare America's most prolific sex expert, Rod Damon, to test his fabled prowess against the flower of Chinese womanhood. Rod rises to the task and embarks on the Oriental love campaign only to find himself limp at his very first whistle stop! Never before have the limitless resources of the Coxeman been so carefully audited. Never before have Rod's fabled funds been so severely taxed, and never before has he found his assets so woefully overdrawn. To preserve his sanity Rod must discover the insidious secret that threatens the future of big mergers between the sexes. And he must find out before his own holdings are completed liquidated.

Coxeman #33

Printing History
Written by Michael Avallone (1924-1999)

copyright 1970
Coronet Communications, Inc

copyright 1973
Warner Books, Inc

Flamingo Books
Top Sellers Ltd

This title was #18 in the U.S.A.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Today In History (December 9, 2013)

Today In History
 December 9th

Frederik II crowned as King of Germany 

Frederick II (1194-1250)
He as one of the most powerful Holy Roman Emperors of the Middle Ages and head of the House of Hohenstaufen. His political and cultural ambitions, based in Sicily and stretching through Italy to Germany.

 Noah Webster establishes NY's 1st daily newspaper, American Minerva

Noah Webster (1758-1843)
1793, Alexander Hamilton lent him $1,500 to move to New York City to edit the leading Federalist Party newspaper. In December, he founded New York's first daily newspaper, American Minerva (later known as the Commercial Advertiser), and edited it for four years, writing the equivalent of 20 volumes of articles and editorials. In 1806 he published his first dictionary.

1st Christmas Seals sold at the Wilmington Delaware post office

Emily Bissell (1861-1948)
Contributions for the original seals, which was designed by Emily P. Bissell, helped in the fight against tuberculosis. A hospital in Wilmington is named in honor of Bissell. 

General Electric announces all Communist employees will be fired

McCarthy's  Un-American hearings had huge impact across the United States in political, industrial and academic spheres. General Electric announces that all communist employees will be fired and anyone who refuses to testify under oath "before a competent government authority" on their political affiliations will be suspended.

Phoenix Arizona, gets 3" of snow

Winter storms are not unheard of in Phoenix in the winter months but at times it does actually snow. While the Phoenix area is known as the "Valley of the Sun" on December 9, 1985 the basin did receive a record 3 inches of the white fluffy cold stuff.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Man Who Was God by Glen Chase

The Man Who Was God 

Cherry was sent to investigate a swindler who claimed to be immortal, 
and maybe he was

The Immortal
He called himself Hamikar and he told his followers that he had never been born and would never die. He didn't need to sleep, to eat, and to drink. And his followers, most of them rich, believed him without question. it was when one of Hamikar's followers, a wild young heiress with a drug problem, attempted her own immortality by diving out a window. That is when Cherry Delight was called in to investigate. Cherry works for D.U.E. (Department of Unusual Events) and she checks peculiar cases in all parts of the world. But this one proved to be a corker because Hamikar, for all his fakery, was a very dangerous man with some very real powers.

Printing History
Written by Gardner F Fox (1911-1986)

All New Cherry Delight #3
Nordon Publications, Inc
Leisure Books
LB517DK (1978)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Under Pressure by Frank Herbert

Twenty subtugs had been lost in the attempt to bring back oil from the undersea fields on the enemy's borders. A brilliant psychologist-electronics expert is planted in the crew of the subtug Ram to find out what is happening. And theory becomes terrifying reality when, miles deep under the ocean, the minds of the crew begin to crack.......

Set in a near-future earth, the West and the East have been at war for more than a decade, and resources are running thin. The West is stealing oil from the East with specialized nuclear submarines (subtugs) that sneak into the underwater oil fields of the East to secretly pump out the oil and bring it back. Each manned by a crew of four, these submarines undertake the most hazardous, stressful mission conceivable, and of late, the missions have been failing, with the last twenty submarines simply disappearing.

Printing History
Written by Frank Herbert (1920-1986)

This title was originally published as The Dragon In The Sea in Astounding magazine from 1955 to 1956, then published in book form in 1956.

Cover by Mel Hunter

Thursday, December 5, 2013

The Big Enchilada by L. A. Morse

Sam Hunter makes Dirty Harry look like Mother Teresa

In a town where pimps, pushers, and porn spice up life on the streets.
Even the toughest private eye can get fried....

Printing History
Written by Larry Alan Morse (1945- )

Avon Books
January 1982
ISBN 380-77602