The Adventures of Coffin Kirk by Arch Whitehouse/Published by Age of Aces * 5/5 stars
This one is a collection of vintage pulp aviation stories, all published in Flying Aces magazine from 1937 to 1941.
I’ll sum it up in one word: fun. Coffin Kirk is pulpy escapism at its best. Our protagonist is Brian Kirk, who as a child witness the murder of his zookeeper father at the hands of the “Circle of Evil.” He escaped at the time with a trained gorilla, Tank.
Now, Coffin Kirk is an adult and he’s flying across Europe and Asia fighting the Circle of Evil in six stories. Tank is now his tailgunner, with Kirk passing him off as a particularly homely human. (Just go with it!)
Writer Arch Whitehouse does a great job with the aviation scenes and his experience as an RAF veteran shows. The villains offer a nice foil without being over the top. It’s clear Whitehouse was also paying attention to the world situation as we see Germans and Japanese soldiers partnering with the Circle of Evil in the years leading up to World War II.
Finally, Age of Aces did a very nice job putting this collection together, complete with vintage illustrations.
This book is identified on the cover as a PulpFest exclusive, but also appears to be available from Amazon.