Pulp, Reviews

Book Review: Sherlock Holmes: The Affair of the Chronic Argonaut

Holmes coverSherlock Holmes: The Affair of the Chronic Argonaut by Fred Adams Jr./Published by Pro Se Press * 5/5 stars

I feel like a broken record every time I review a Fred Adams Jr. book. But it’s worth saying again: Adams is quite possibly the best writer working in new pulp today. I have yet to read a bad book or story by him.

This short book (142 pages) collects two Sherlock Holmes novellas by Adams. In the first, Holmes and Watson have to solve a locked room mystery with only a piece of yellow paper as a clue. As the murders mount, the two must venture to Limehouse (Chinatown) to solve this weird series of killings.

In the second, the under-construction tunnels of the London Underground are the site of cannibalistic murders, with an odd man delivering advance notice of the killings.

Both are quick, enjoyable reads. A caveat for Holmes fans: I’ve read more non-canon Holmes stories than those by Arthur Conan Doyle. That means I’m not the best judge of how these stories fit in that canon. These stories both rely on the occult and sci-fi elements to explain their mysteries, so if that deviation from Holmes bothers you, these aren’t the stories for you.

That said, if you want a good read and an enjoyable mystery, check out this book.

 

Pulp

Now available: Thrilling Detective Pulp Tales Volume 2

Our latest pulp collection, Thrilling Detective Pulp Tales Vol. 2, is now available in both print and ebook format.

For more than 20 years, detectives and criminals found a home in the pages of Thrilling Thrilling Detective Vol. 2 (2)Detective. This edition collects five vintage pulp novels and novelettes from the tattered pages of the classic detective pulp: “Death Walks Alone” by George Allan Moffatt, “The Diamond Bride” by W.T. Ballard, “Death on the Wire” by C.K.M. Scanlon, “Publicity for the Corpse” by C.S. Montanye and “Homicide Shaft” by Robert Leslie Bellem.

It’s 228 pages of vintage pulpy goodness!

Brick Pickle Media, Minnesota's 50 Greatest, Pulp

What’s coming in 2020

By Jonathan Sweet

I’m always interested in what authors are working on, so I thought I’d give a look at what we have coming down the pike in 2020.Thrilling Detective Vol. 2 (2)

In case you missed it, one originally planned 2020 project actually hit in late 2019: Chicago Pulp Tales, a collection of vintage pulp stories set in the Windy City.

I’m in the midst of research/writing/production on five books right now:

  • A hardcover edition of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players will come out later this month. Just need to sign off on the final proofs, and we’re good to go.
  • Another sports book in the vein of Minnesota’s 50 Greatest Baseball Players, this time focused on great Minnesota sports moments. Goal is to have that one out in time for Father’s Day.
  • Volume 2 of The Beginner’s Guide to Pulp. That one will make its debut at the Windy City Pulp & Paper Convention in April.
  • A Christmas-themed book that I’ll reveal more about later this year, with the goal of having it done by the fall for the holiday season and local book shows.
  • Finally, I’m a bit stalled on a pulp novel that I’m writing — my first full-length fiction novel. Originally had planned on having it done for the Windy City show, but unless it takes off suddenly, that seems unlikely. Hopefully it’ll still happen later this year!

From the Brick Pickle Pulp side of things, we also have several projects in the works:

  • The aforementioned Volume 2 of the Guide and Chicago Pulp Tales (and maybe my novel!)
  • Thrilling Detective Pulp Stories, Vol. 2, will go live by the end of January. Proofs are on their way as we speak. We’re already well into the work on Volume 3, which will come out later this year. Most likely, we’ll publish an omnibus hardcover edition combining all three as well. (Volume 1 was published in 2019.)
  • A collection of Minnesota pulp stories. The stories are selected, but editing and production still have yet to start, so we’re probably looking at the second half of the year.
  • Some author-themed collections in the second half of the year. More to come on those!
Pulp, Reviews

Book Review: The Adventures of Coffin Kirk

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.s-l1600.jpg

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.

Pulp

New release: Chicago Pulp Tales

Our latest book is now available in both print and ebook: Chicago Pulp Tales.Chicago Pulp

From John Dillinger to Al Capone to Frank Nitti, the Windy City is well known for its notorious gangsters and crime figures. So it’s not surprising that Chicago was a popular setting for the pulp writers of the 20th Century. This collection features nine classic pulp tales from a number of publications, with a little bit for everyone. There’s plenty of femme fatales, detectives, criminals — and even a couple of weird ghost stories included, with stories from Otis Adelbert Kline, James Duncan, Edwin MacLaren and more.

Order or find out more information here.

Pulp, Reviews

Review: Operator #5 – The Red Invader Radio Archives audiobook

Operator #5: The Red Invader * 2016 audiobook by Radio Archives* *3.5/5 stars*

RA569-1Listened to the Radio Archives audio version (5 CDs) of The Red Invader, the first time I’ve listened to one of the Operator #5 stories as an audiobook, so this review is two-fold: the story and the audio presentation/experience

This classic pulp features a solid story with an impressive female spy as the villain, double crosses and international intrigue that of course only Jimmy Christopher can unravel. To my ear, there was little of the uncomfortable racial/cultural tropes that infect some of the earlier Operator #5 novels. But i could have missed them, and that brings us to item No. 2.

This didn’t work for me as an audiobook. The presentation was professional and the narration by Milton Bagby was solid. In the end, I think I would chalk this up to the story not lending itself well to audio. For me, at least, this is a common problem with action-heavy tales. I’d much prefer to read them than try to follow the story as I navigate traffic and weather in the car. Your mileage may vary!

Story: 4 stars/Presentation: 3 stars