Sherlock Holmes & Kolchak, The Night Stalker: Cry of Thunder


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8098350I’ve been a fan of both Sherlock Holmes and Carl Kolchak for many years. That the two could team up was an intriguing idea, one I wondered how the good folks at Moonstone could accomplish. They do comics of both characters and have for years.

Kolchak is visited by a young woman with a had-written mauscript found on her great-grandfather after he was murdered in the early fifties. It had been passed down in the family since then waiting to be put into Kolchak’s hands specifically. She couldn’t explain how he could be involved even before his birth.

The manuscript turns out to be a Sherlock Holmes story, one of many unknown tales chronicled by his friend Dr. Watson. It involved a Latvian terrorist, a man who confessed to a murder he didn’t commit, that of his wife. Or rather his second wife, both at the same time.

A second manuscript turns up, modern day followers of the terrorist, and the stuff of legends: the giant Thunderbirds in a subplot that goes all the way back to 1890 Tombstone.

This graphic novel is a compilation of individual books. In the back are the cover images of the original issues. The story is by Joe Gentile with the artwork by Andy Bennett & Carlos Magno.

A lot of fun and available HERE.

Nancy Drew … Trouble Shooter(1939)



600full-nancy-drew...-trouble-shooter-posterAs a kid, reading Nancy Drew was more my sisters’ purview, though I think I did check out a few. Don’t remember all the comedy though. I think NANCY DREW, TROUBLE SHOOTER followed the formula of the times mixing a lot of comedy among the mysteries. I’ve seen too many films of the era that did such.

Bonita Granville stars as the teenage detective and John Litel as Carson Drew, her father. They are out to clear Uncle Matt Brandon(Aldrich Bowker), notimages really a relative, but an old friend accused of murdering his neighbor Henry Clark. The two men had had a running feud for years over a property line and he was heard threatening the man the day he disappeared.

The Sheriff of the county, Riggs(Roger Imhof) is an idiot and has the old man locked up even though there’s no evidence a crime has even been committed. It doesn’t take lawyer Drew long to get him out, though it doesn’t last long as Nancy and boy friend Ted Nickerson(Frankie Thomas) find the body, shot, buried on Matt’s land.

Nancy goes snooping about as the film plainly makes it obvious who the murderer really is: Clinton Griffith(Erville Alderson), clark’s partner in a plant nursery. You see, a rare flower was found growing where Clark’s body was found buried.

hnVjvIvm1Vn7mnKx0NcNv5OGSq0The two kids go through a wild plane that is supposed to crash when they are caught snooping and the pilot bails out. It supposed to look like they stole the plane and crashed it.

All’s well in the end though. After all, there’s more movies to be made.

Some thoughts: the depiction of the young black hand is embarrassing: slow talking, superstitious, a chicken thief. And Nancy is a bit old to be jealous of the attentions of the attractive neighbor toward her father and his return of same.

New In The House

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1: Sons of Libert

2: Patriot Guns – Adam Rutledge: the first two volumes of the James Reasoner authored series.

3: Some Die Hard – Stephen Mertz: Rough Edges Press released this long out of print novel. The author talks about his dealings with the original publisher in an afterword. James had his own problems with them as well.

4: Double Down – Tom Kakonis: an early thriller by the author of Brash Books’ forthcoming TREASURE COAST>

5: McCallister: Kill Crazy – William W. Johnstone with J.A Johnstone: the latest novel in the transplanted Scotsman western series.

6: Shawn O’Brien, Town Tamer – William W. Johnstone with J. . Johnstone: first novel in the off shoot of the Brothers O’Brien series.

and the ebooks:

7; Suspended Animation(review copy) – Shweta Ganesh Kumar: a collection of short stories.

8: Only The Strong Survive(review copy) – A. J. Riccio: A Jay Stock mystery.

9: The Immortal Game – Mike Miner: got good reviews. Decided to give it a try.

10: The Owl(review copy) – Bob Forward: Brash Books releases this one in September.

11: Low End of Nowhere(review copy) – Mike Stone: a Bounty hunter Streeter thriller coming in September from Brash Books.

12: Lover Man(review copy) – Dallas Murphy: Artie Deamer mystery. His ex-lover dies the same day he receives a note announcing she’s dead. He becomes an investigator looking for her killer.

13: It’s Best To Shoot In The Head(review copy) – Shayne Youngblood: forthcoming prequel to A MAN FROM RIO>

Low End of Nowhere – Michael Stone


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Brash Books is going about the business of bringing crime books long out of91856unsBPL._SL1500_ print, as well as exciting new finds. LOW END OF NOWHERE is the first book in the Streeter series Michael Stone, former newspaper man, private eye, set his series in his home town of Denver.

Streeter is a bounty hunter, a skip chaser for a bail bondsman with whom he shares a former church. A former football player, bouncer, four time ex-husband, he lives off the grid, dealing in cash, a driver’s license under a different name, a car registered and insured under a third name.

He takes side jobs now and again.

This time he’s working for a woman he nailed for insurance fraud. Her boyfriend had died in a car wreck, leaving her everything in a will. His money was made in real estate and drug deals. He was also notoriously tight-fisted.

Streeter was to find where the money was hidden. Seemed simple enough, but they weren’t the only ones looking: A shady lawyer, his two thugs with their own agenda, and there seemed to be a cop in the mix.

Good stuff and can be ordered HERE.

A Taste of Vengeance(I Vigliacchi Non Pregano )1969


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112526-taste-of-vengeance-0-230-0-341-cropGianni Garko, billed as John Garko in most of his films, is probably best known for his Sartana series of spaghetti westerns of which he played the lead in four of the five movies(George Hilton took the role in the middle one), he of the black outfits and fantastic weaponry. The films have a cult-like status among the fans of the genre. In A TASTE OF VENGEANCE(another U.S. title is Cowards Don’t Pray), he plays aganist type as Bryan Clarke, a tortured soul, in a film that rises above it’s simple vengeance(a staple of the spaghetti genre) plot.

Bryan had come home from the war to be reunited with his fiancee, only to have her killed by Northern vigilantes11 masquerading as the law. Bryan is gut shot and left for dead as they rape and murder her, then set the house afire(all that is off screen). The last thing Bryan remembers is a bright star on the chest of the leader.Nothing else, except for brief flashes now and again that evoke violent reactions before he can stop himself.

Next we see him in bed, pulled from the burning house by Daniel(Ivan Rassimov, billed as Sean Todd), who patched him up and stayed with him until he was sufficiently healed to travel. Daniel has his own problems. Home from the war, he found his home burned and his kid brother, Robert(Roberto Miali, billed as Jerry Wilson) held for ransom. They want five thousand which Daniel doesn’t have.

El vengador del Sur  (1969) 4The two men team up to rescue Robert. In that rescue, Daniel gets his first hint that Bryan is just a bit crazy. He’s cold and kills without thought. Daniel stops him from killing the last man, preferring him to face trial for his misdeeds.

Bryan is hired by one rich man to kill the gun slinging son of another to gain control of the valley. Neither rich man has any redeeming qualities. Three grand he’s promised for the job, a third up front. He doesn’t mention that to Daniel or Robert when they take jobs with the first rich man. He keeps pushing the son, flirting mainly with his sister, Julie( Elisa Montés) until a duel is arranged. He finishes the job.

Daniel and Bryan split over that deal when Daniel is told the truth. He leavesEl vengador del Sur  (1969) 22 and Robert decides to go with him. Julie does as well. Bryan doesn’t collect the rest of his money as his employer is killed by the father of the dead son. Bryan goes to collect his money, kills the rancher, and convinces the gunmen there to form a gang with him, promising an even split instead of a salary.

When Daniel takes the job of town marshal that sets up the last half of the film. Daniel wants to follow the law. He has affection for Bryan, but the man’s inner demons keep pushig him to more depredations and the army comes calling. Daniel is castigated for not stopping his friend and is put on notice. Two weeks he has to get him. But even in his sights, he can’t pull the trigger. Robert volunteers to go tell Bryan to get to Mexico. That will take the heat off him.

El vengador del Sur  (1969) 1Unfortunately the young man is wearing a shiny star and Bryan reacts without thinking, horrified immediately t what he’s done. And it takes the blinders off Daniel. The trailer below is mostly from the last fifteen minutes of the movie.

An excelleny movie and many cinsider it Garko’s best, as well as director Mario Siciliano’s (billed as as Marlon Sirko).

FFB: Bubba Ho-Tep – Joe R. Lansdale



18515639Not really a forgotten book, but I’ve wanted to read this story ever since I saw the excellent film a few years ago. It first appeared in The King is Dead: Tales of Elvis Post-Mortem. The film starred Bruce Campbell as the still alive Elvis and Ossie Davis as Jack Kennedy(the old black man claims to have survived the assassination attempt, only to be died black and abandoned).

Both are residents of the Shady Rest old folks home. Elvis is still alive because he’d gotten tired of the life and switched with the best Elvis impersonator. The idea was when he was ready to return, they would swap back. A contract had been drawn up to that effect. But then the impersonator had died of a heart attack and Elvis’s contract had been lost in a fire.

The two men battle a soul sucking mummy to save the lives and souls of their fellow residents.

How does a mummy get into an East Texas rest home? Read the superb story and find out.The ebook can be found HERE.

The Big Steal(1949)


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2rc1fWMXEt5dHkBS1W2YsrwDeKRTHE BIG STEAL is a story of a theft, the prize an Army payroll of $300,000. Our proponents are Lt. Duke Halliday(Robert Mitchum, Joan Graham(Jane Greer), Capt. Vincent Blake(William Bendix), Jim Fiske)Patric Knowles), and Inspector-General Ortega)Ramon Novarro).

Fiske is the one who actually stole the payroll, Halliday is the one blamed for it, and Blake is Halliday’s boss who’s pursuing him. Joan Graham is the wronged woman pursuing the man who ripped her off. Ortega is the Mexican policeman who knows something is wrong and kind of ambling, along with his aide, Lt. Ruiz(Don Alvarado), until the players sort themselves out.

The film is one long chase across Mexico.

Lt. Halliday had been paymaster of his base, the man in charge of picking up1186711146_4 the cash each month for his base, and returning to distribute it. Fiske hijacks the cash at gunpoint and heads to Mexico where a fence, Julius Seton(John Qualen), waits. Blake pursues him with a murderous rage. Joan Graham is the woman swept off her feet by the handsome Fiske, “borrowing” two grand before disappearing without a word..

The film opens on an ocean liner docking in Mexico, with Halliday burst in on by Blake where a fight breaks out. Knocking Blake out, Halliday steals his I.D. papers befoe exiting the ship where he bumps into Graham.

images (1)All he’s interested in is clearing his name. Graham wants her money back. So naturally hook up as the chase Fiske across the desert and mountain trails, with Blake hot on their tails.

Nicely done black-and-white film with a couple of twists thrown in along the way, directed by Don Siegel and based on the short story “The Road To Carmichael’s” by Richard Wormser, a pulp writer who wrote screenplays and did tie-in work as well, which is my only knowledge of his work.

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