Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tales Of Terror (1962)

The conclusion of Edgar Allan Poe Week

Three short sequences based on Poe tales: 

The Black Cat 
The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar".


Directed by Roger Corman

Vincent Price as Fortunato/Valdemar/Locke
Maggie Pierce as Lenora Locke
Leona Gage as Morella Locke
Edmund Cobb as Driver
Debra Paget as Helene Valdemar
David Frankham as Valdermar's physician
Peter Lorre as Montresor Herringbone
Joyce Jameson as Annabel Herringbone
Basil Rathbone as Mr. Carmichael

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Pit And The Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe

A story about the torments endured by a prisoner of the Spanish Inquisition

Harry Clarke Illustration
 The story takes place during the Spanish Inquisition. At the beginning of the story an unnamed narrator is brought to trial before various sinister judges. Before him are seven tall white candles on a table, and, as they melt, his hopes of survival also diminish. He is condemned to death and finds himself in a pitch black compartment. At first the prisoner thinks that he is locked in a tomb, but he discovers that he is in a cell. The narrator discovers that the prison is slightly illuminated and that he is bound to a wooden board by ropes. He looks up in horror to see a painted picture of Father Time on the ceiling; hanging from the figure is a gigantic pendulum with a crescent razor measuring swinging slowly back and forth. The pendulum is sliding downwards and will eventually kill him. As the pendulum reaches a point inches above his heart, the prisoner breaks free of the ropes and watches as the pendulum is drawn back to the ceiling.

Printing History
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

The Gift: A Christmas and New Year's Present for 1843

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe

The story begins with the unnamed narrator arriving at the house of his friend, Roderick Usher, having received a letter from him in a distant part of the country complaining of an illness and asking for his help. As he arrives, the narrator notes a thin crack extending from the roof, down the front of the building and into the lake.

The narrator is impressed with Roderick's paintings, and thus attempts to cheer him by reading with him and listening to his improvised musical compositions on the guitar. Roderick sings a song, then tells the narrator that he believes the house he lives in to be alive. Eventually The narrator flees the house, and, as he does so, notices a flash of moonlight behind him, causing him to turn back in time to see the moon shining through the suddenly widened crack of the house. As he watches, the House of Usher splits in two and the fragments sink into the sea.

Printing History
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)

Burton's Gentleman's Magazine
September 1839

Tales of the Grotesque and Arabesque

Roger Corman film from 1960

Vincent Price as Roderick Usher
Mark Damon as the Narrator 
Myrna Fahey as Madeline

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Mystery of Marie Rogêt by Edgar Allan Poe

The first murder mystery based on the details of a real crime

  C. Auguste Dupin and his sidekick the unnamed narrator undertake the unsolved murder of one Marie Rogêt of Paris. The body of Rogêt, a perfume shop employee, is found in the Seine River and the media has taken a keen interest in the mystery.

 The story is based upon the actual murder of Mary Cecilia Rogers. She disappeared on October 4, 1838, in New York City and became known as the "Beautiful Cigar Girl". Only a few days later the newspapers announced her return. It was said she had eloped with a naval officer. Three years later, on July 25, 1841, she disappeared again. Her body was found floating in the Hudson River on July 28 in Hoboken, New Jersey. The details surrounding the case suggested she was murdered. The death of this well-known girl received national attention for weeks. Months later her fiancé was found dead, an act of suicide. By his side was a remorseful note and an empty bottle of poison.

Printing History
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
Snowden's Ladies' Companion
William W. Snowden
November 1842

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Purloined Letter by Edgar Allan Poe

Featuring the fictional detective C. Auguste Dupin

The unnamed narrator is discussing with the famous Parisian amateur detective C. Auguste Dupin some of his most celebrated cases when they are joined by the Prefect of the Police. The Prefect has a case he would like to discuss with Dupin.  A letter has been stolen from the boudoir of an unnamed female by the unscrupulous Minister D. It is said to contain compromising information. D was in the room, saw the letter, and switched it for a letter of no importance. He has been blackmailing his victim.

Printing History
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
The Gift for 1845
December 19844

Monday, January 26, 2015

The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe

The narrator endeavors to convince the reader of his sanity, 
while describing a murder he committed.

The narrator insists he is sane but suffering from a disease which causes over-acuteness of the senses.  An old man with whom he lives has a clouded, pale, blue vulture-like eye which so distresses that the narrator plots to murder the old man, though the narrator states that he loves the old man, and hates only the eye. The narrator insists that his careful precision in committing the murder shows that he cannot possibly be insane.

Printing History
Written by Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849)
James Russell Lowell
The Pioneer 
January 1843

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Arctic Abduction by Jack Garside

Agent N3 on a scorching search and destroy 
mission against the KGB's special forces!

Killmaster #260
The KGB has created a new breed of super spy. Abducted American children are subjected to years of brutal brainwashing and then returned to the United States as an elite force of assassins. Indistinguishable from ordinary citizens, it was a perfect plan, until one of them tried to kill Nick Carter. Now AXE's own ultra spy is out to turn the bloody tables. Nick's assignment is to impersonate a top KGB official and infiltrate the training facility where children are tuned into cold blooded killers. For anyone else, it would be a suicide mission. For Nick Carter, it's just a game. A game of Russian roulette.

Printing History
Written by Jack Garside (1924- )

Berkley Publishing Group
Jove Books
Published by arrangement with The Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
ISBN 515 10292
April 1990

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Call Me Deadly by Hal Braham

When a bride lost her laughter
met a man who lost a corpse

Cover by Walter Popp
It meant that her twice dead husband had thirteen more days n which to be murdered, again. And that ex cop Jim Dillon would have to come up with a cadaver even is was to be his own!  

Printing History
Written by Hal Braham (1911-1994)

Priory Books 

Graphic Books

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The Tomorrow War by Mack Maloney

In a strange new world called America
The future is in danger
And the past is just beginning

Wingman #16
For ace pilot Hawk Hunter Word War II isn't over...
And World War I hasn't even begun

The Lost Squadron
Plunged into an alternate world, and the a lethal rematch with history's infamous adversaries, it's up to "the Wingman" to terminate the past once and for all. But blowing Asia to kingdom come with a tri-nuclear bomb has ignited the night sky in flames, and transformed Hunter's escape route to a new Hell on earth.....

Hurled into a brutal trench warfare in an legislated European country, Hunter is torn between two enemy forces, with one prayer for survival To operate as a mercenary warrior and blast his way back to America. But it's going to take more than guts. For locating the mysterious portal that will bring him home depends on an unlikely comrade. Now, joining forces with Victor Robotov, the world's greatest madman is Hawk Hunter's last hope for saving himself, and the only hope for surviving the future

Printing History
Written by Brian Kelleher

Kensington Publishing Corp
Pinnacle Books 
October 1999
ISBN 7860 1025

Open Road Media
 June 2013

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Too Hot To Handle by Orrie Hitt

If you wanted pleasure,
Kay would give you a fling!

Starkly reveals the tempestuous life of a wanton woman.

Printing History
Written by Orrie Edwin Hitt (1916-1975)

Beacon Books

Monday, January 12, 2015

USA Fiction Challenge: Oregon

We are rolling along in the USA Fiction Challenge. As we near the end of this one of a kind event, we will be visiting some exciting locales. The next stop is state of Oregon with J.A. Jance's Failure To Appear

Failure To Appear
by J. A. Jance

J.P. Beaumont’s teenage daughter Kelly has run off and her tracks have led the sober but struggling cop to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. But in addition to one very headstrong offspring, there is something else waiting for Beau. A case of coldblooded murder. The victim is an acquaintance, a sleazy rival private investigator brutally butchered, supposedly by the Festival’s current young Juliet, though Beau has his doubts. But the Second Act is about to open with a second corpse and a touch of kiddie porn, leaving Beau center stage in a heart-stopping tragedy of revenge, deception, and death.

Printing History
Written by Judith Ann Jance (1944- )

William Morrow and Company, Inc
copyright 1993
April 1997
March 2009

The Hearst Corporation
Avon Books, Inc
ISBN 380 75839
September 1994

Sunday, January 11, 2015

The House Of Whispers by Nick Carter

Nick Carter Weekly
No 722
October 29, 1910

The House of Whispers

Street & Smith
New York City

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Kiss Life Goodbye by Carter Brown

Kiss Life Goodbye

Collectors' Series #3
 December 1954

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

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

Novelette Series
"Lovely" Mystery

First Collectors' Series
Volume 3
December 1954
w/ Alias A Lady & Your Alibi Is Showing

Second Collectors' Series
Volume 1 No 27
July 1959
  w/ Darling You're Doomed

Cover Moira Bartram

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bare Trap by Frank Kane

Johnny Liddell faces the kiss of death in a Hollywood bedroom

 Johnny Liddell runs afoul of gamblers, goons, and girls

Printing History
Written by Frank Kane (1912-1968)

copyright 1952

Dell Books
D333, 749
1960, 1965

Kindle Edition
February 2012

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde 
by Robert Louis Stevenson

Mr. Utterson the lawyer goes for a walk with his friend and relative Mr. Enfield. They walk past a door, which somehow prompts Mr. Enfield to tell a sad story A brute of a man knocked down a little girl, everyone yelled at the rude man, the man offered to pay a lot of money and disappeared through the door only to return with a large check drawn from Dr. Jekyll’s bank account. The nasty man? None other than Mr. Hyde. 

Mr. Utterson, as it turns out, is Dr. Jekyll’s lawyer, and find out that in the event of Dr. Jekyll’s death or disappearance, his entire estate is to be turned over to Mr. Hyde. Mr. Utterson, who thinks highly of Dr. Jekyll, is extremely suspicious of this whole arrangement. He resolves to get to the bottom of this mystery. He hunts down Mr. Hyde and is suitably impressed with the evil just oozing out of Hyde’s pores. He then asks Dr. Jekyll about these odd arrangements. Dr. Jekyll refuses to comment, and there the matter rests until nearly a year later.

Printing History
Robert Louis Balfour Stevenson (1850-1894)

Longmans, Green & Co. 
January 1886
ISBN 0-553-21277-X

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Homicide Johnny by Steve Fisher

Everyone wanted her..even the killer 

 Evil was all around her and there was no escape

Printing History
Written by Stephen Gould Fisher (1912-1980)

Popular Library

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The Lady Regrets by James M. Fox

Black Room Murder In Los Angeles....

Cover by Victor Kalin
Major John C. Marshall has been discharged. He and his wife are in a hotel in Los Angeles. In the lobby he overhears two cops at the desk asking for him. He goes back to the room and he and Suzanne get out of there. They go to see Henry Fleming, a PR man for the very wealthy Wilton Havers to find out what’s going on.

Printing History
Written by James M Fox

Dell Books

Monday, January 5, 2015

The Obituary Club by Hugh Pentecost

Where does a man with a face known to every movie fan in America go to hide from a killer?

Cover by Robert Maguire
Charles Seely was one of the greatest comic talents of all time. The list ran: Chaplin, Fields, Seely. Charley had spent his life perpetrating cruel, giant-size practical jokes on the famous. His final one, included in his will, was a sample of his monstrous sense of humor. There were seven people named in the will. All big names in show business, all the public but of Charley's last horrible joke. Columnist Grant Simon tagged the group, "The Obituary Club." It was a fitting title, for as the will  was set up, only after the first of the seven died, would one of the remaining six become Charley's heir. It was a waiting game, someone had to kick the bucket to set up the payoff. But the payoff came when Hollywood's biggest star became a target for a killer who wanted to turn the macabre lottery into cold-blooded murder.

Printing History
Written by Judson Pentecost Philips (1903–1989)

Dodd, Mead and Company
T. V. Boardman & Company Limited

Dell Books

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Murder is The Message by Carter Brown

Accused of two killings, Danny Boyd has two alibis.
Both sexy, both nude, and both liars
Robert McGinnis Cover
Sex & Sabotage
Add money, and the mixture of instant death when private eye Danny Boyd s hired to investigate a millionaire's murder, before the murder takes place. The suspects are identified by the victim on a mysterious tape recording that soon disappears, leaving Danny trapped between a strawberry blonde spy who doesn't like bras and a sadistic cop who doesn't like private eyes.

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

Horwitz Publications, Inc
Numbered Series #150

ISBN 7255 0077

New American Library
Signet Books
ISBN 451 P4105
 December 1969
ISBN 451 Y7655

Bonus Covers


Ullstein #1343
Frankfurt Germany

Saturday, January 3, 2015

USA Fiction Challenge: State of Ohio

A new year brings about a renewed interest in the USA Fiction Challenge. 
The next stop is the state of Ohio.

Cast A Blue Shadow 
An Ohio Amish Mystery
by P.L. Gaus

What is the relationship between history and fiction in a place with a contentious past? And of what concern is gender in the telling of stories about that past? 

After the first blizzard of an early winter, a Mennonite college girl with a troubled past appears curled up and bloodied outside the office of her childhood psychiatrist. Mute for many years as a child, Martha Lehman is again not talking. That same morning, the wealthy mother of Martha's boyfriend is found murdered in her mansion in the country west of Millersburg, Ohio. Professor Michael Branden and Sheriff Bruce Robertson begin an investigation that, in the space of a single weekend, implicates Martha, threatens to tear apart the fabric of Millersburg College, pits one professor against another, and brings Caroline Branden near to a breaking point over the girl she once tried so fervently to help and who now seems determined to let no one help her at all. As Martha struggles to understand her enigmatic past and as Professor Branden wrestles with the murder of the college's leading benefactor, the real story of Martha Lehman emerges, born Amish, converted to Mennonite, and drawn to the English world for the worst of reasons.

Printing History
 Written by Paul L Gaus (1949- )

Ohio University Press
November 2003
ISBN 0821415301

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Ruby Red Death by Jack Garside

AXE's Top Agent Tracks The Bloody Trail 
Of A Brutal War Criminal!

Killmaster #259
During World War II, Prince Sergei Romanovsky's parents were slaughtered and the family jewels stolen by a Red Army sergeant. Romanovsky escaped, changed his identity, and became one of the most feared men in the Soviet bloc. Vadim Vinnick, powerful head of the Romanian intelligence service. Now Vinnick is dying and wants to make a deal with AXE, critical information about Soviet operations in exchange for revenge. Nick CArter's job is to find Boris Glaskov, the man who butchered Vinnick's family and retrieve the Heartstone, the priceless bloodred Romanovsky ruby. But Glaskov has killed before for the sake of the gem. And he would find it a pleasure to add Nick Carter to his list of victims.....

 Printing History
Written by Jack Garside (1924- )

Berkley Publishing Group
Jove Books
Published by arrangement with The Conde Nast Publications, Inc.
ISBN 515 10274
March 1990