Mar 052015
 
The Camp, by Jonathan Trask No month stated, 1977  Belmont Tower Books An interesting obscurity in the work of Len Levinson, The Camp is notable because it was a collaboration between Len and his editor at Belmont Tower, Peter McCurtin. Len provides the full story below, but long story short, McCurttin came up with the plot, wrote the first chapter, and then handed it over to Len, who ran
Mar 022015
 
The Spider #3: Wings Of The Black Death, by Grant Stockbridge December, 1933  Popular Publications The third volume of The Spider is notable because it was the first to be written by Norvell “Grant Stockbridge” Page, who would go on to write the majority of the ensuing 115 volumes. Having read some of Page’s later volumes, I was curious how different this first one would be. Surprisingly,
Feb 262015
 
Depth Force #4: Battle Stations, by Irving A. Greenfield July, 1985  Zebra Books Once again coming off like the men’s adventure equivalent of a soap opera, the Depth Force series continues with this fourth novel that picks up immediately after the events of the previous volume, with not one word of helpful background material to catch up the reader. Battle Stations follows the same
Feb 232015
 
The Katmandu Contract, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1975  Award Books By this point in the Nick Carter: Killmaster saga, series creator/producer Lyle Kenyon Engel was gone, and the books were solely in the hands of publisher Award Books. Rather than a small stable of authors who turned out a guided series, Nick Carter: Killmaster was now farmed out to an ever-changing lineup of freelance
Feb 192015
 
The Spider #15: The Red Death Rain, by Grant Stockbridge December, 1934  Popular Publications I splurged on this volume of The Spider: when I read that The Red Death Rain was considered one of the more outrageous novels in the series, with it’s Yellow Peril threat, sexpot female villain, and a character raped to death by an orangutan, I decided I would in fact seek out a reprint of the
Feb 162015
 
Killinger #2: The Rainbow/Seagreen Case, by P.K. Palmer January, 1974  Pinnacle Books The second and final installment of the Killinger series is an exercise in tedium, author P.K. Palmer doling out a slow-moving tale that’s rife with repetition. It seems clear though that Palmer, who passed away before publication, intended Killinger to be a sort of Travis McGhee for the Pinnacle line;
Feb 122015
 
The Spider #75: Satan's Murder Machines, by Grant Stockbridge December, 1939  Popular Publications The Spider returns in an installment published a few years after the previous volume I read, Death Reign Of The Vampire King, though not much has changed – he’s still thrust into a relentless sequence of chases, firefights, and life-threatening traps, all while separated from his usual
Feb 092015
 
Midnight Lightning, by Kevin Sherrill August, 1989  Pinnacle/Zebra Books About as obscure as a paperback original can be, Midnight Lightning is one of those late ‘80s publications that bears the Pinnacle imprint but in reality is a Zebra publication. It’s also the first of a three-volume men’s adventure series,* even though there was no series title or volume numbers. (The spine however
Feb 052015
 
The Spider #26: Death Reign Of The Vampire King, by Grant Stockbridge November, 1936  Popular Publications Again I have Zwolf to thank – or should that be blame? Because, thanks to his awesome Spider overview, I’ve gone off the deep end, and within the span of a few weeks have picked up like 60-some installments of this 1933-1943 pulp series. I was only slightly aware of the Spider, one of
Feb 022015
 
The Executioners, by Nick Carter No month stated, 1970  Award Books Not as entertaining, crazy, or sick as his earlier installment, The Sea Trap, The Executioners is only a middling entry in the Nick Carter: Killmaster series, courtesy Jon Messmann. Also worth noting is that, unlike that earlier volume, this one is in first-person, which already results in a demerit so far as I’m concerned.