Don Pendleton is best known of course for creating The Executioner Mack Bolan and later turning it into an empire. But he wrote other things as well and very good in their own right. Former policeman P.I. Joe Copp was one. COPP ON FIRE was the second of six published in 1988.
Joe Copp, though like most P.I.s close to broke all the time, didn’t really want the job, eve when $1300.00 in cash was laid in his hands. A handicapped man in a big white limousine wanted him for ten hours to take photos of people entering and leaving a business. He was looking for a rat. The man remained unidentified and after spending the day taking photos Joe met and turned the film, undeveloped, over to the chauffeur.
That’s when things went downhill fast. The business blew up. a bomb took out the limousine and it’s occupants, and the people Joe had photographed started getting knocked off one by one. He’d turned over his copies to the police and one wanted to hang the whole mess on Joe.
Figuring he’d been set up to the the fall, Joe got mad and went hunting, even as more bodies were showing up.
Nicely plotted and paced novel that I couldn’t stop reading.
New editions of the books are available as ebooks and well worth a look.
The first section was previously released as an ebook titled DAYS OF BEER, though here it’s been expanded with fresh stories. I could relate to many of Charles’ adventures, having been through similar experiences. Others were uniquely his, just as I could probably mention few personal to only me.
The second section using the book title, covers a wide range of subjects from growing up on a farm in Arkansas, and the adventures and terrors a young boy can run into there, to his college life. Again, so much that he went through was close to me that they drew smiles as they set off my own memories.
The book is never dull and kept me reading, smiling, laughing, commiserating on parts that were more serious.
A fine piece of writing that can be ordered HERE.
WARNING: EXTREMELY GRAPHIC!
I’ve read many more pastiches than Doyle actually wrote of the first consulting detective. I love me some Sherlock Holmes. As one would expect, some are better than others. These two by Anthony Horowitz are among the best I’ve found in years.
THE HOUSE OF SILK
THE HOUSE OF SILK is another of those Watson penned adventures of Sherlock Holmes stored in the dispatch box in the vaults of Cox and Company to be held for a hundred years before publication.
A conspiracy stretching from Boston to London and involving some of the movers and shakers in society’s upper crust. One of Holmes’ Baker Street Irregulars, the newest member, is beaten horribly, his body tossed aside, a ribbon of white silk tied around his wrist.
Holmes is warned off the case by none other than his brother Mycroft who’d received visits from important people after making inquiries for Holmes. As always, he pays no attention and soon finds himself framed for murder, in prison, and a death sentence on him before he can get to trial.
The House of Silk, whatever that may be, is behind it all.
Anthony Horowitz’s new novel is about the aftermath of the incident at Reichenbach Falls. Sherlock Holmes is dead(presumed so at the time of course), as is Moriarty. The author has a few characters from some of the Doyle stories appearing at various points in the tale.
Chief is Scotland Yard Inspector Athelney Jones who, after his embarrassment in THE SIGN OF THE FOUR makes a study of Holmes’ methods, reading every monograph and book the Great Detective wrote. He becomes quite expert in that little trick of deducing a person’s station just by close examination of that person.
Arriving in London just days after the deaths of Holmes and Moriarty is Pinkerton investigator Frederick Chase to look into the death of an undercover agent in Moriarty’s band.
The set-up becomes almost like the Doyle stories with Chase telling the story in first person, Watson to Jones’ Holmes.
It seems America had it’s own version of Moriarty, a shadowy figure named Clarence Devereux who no one could identify. He’d headed to England with the intentions of hooking up with Moriarty.
With the deaths of Holmes and Moriarty, all that seems out the door, but the pair go looking for the identity of Devereux with the intent of shutting him down.
Nicely written with a twist I never saw coming.
!: Sidewinders: Bleeding Texas – William Johnstone with J.A. Johnstone: Bo Creel is back at his family’s Star C Ranch in Bear Creek, Texas. Along with his buddy Scratch, he’s finding out that home is where the hell-raising is. A rival ranch is trying to drive the Creel family out of business, using any means necessary. For Bo and Scratch, always suckers for a pretty face, come two young ladies who just might blur the battle lines.
2: A Dangerous Man – William W. Johnstone: Born and bred in the Texas Pandhandle town of Comanche Crossing, William “Wild Bill” Longley gunned down a dozen of its men in cold blood before he got around to the sheriff and deputy–so he could take over the job himself. Then he found the perfect sidekick in a vicious career criminal named Booker Tate. With his remorseless heart set on a beautiful young woman, Wild Bill and Booker take the whole town hostage until the young lady agrees to marry a man she despises. That’s when a cold-eyed stranger comes to town with a dead man strapped to his saddle. In a town where violence and murder rule the day, a terrifying battle is about to explode–between ruthless Wild Bill Longley and a bounty hunter named Tam Sullivan, who’s done a whole lot of killing of his own…
and the ebooks:
3: Further Adventures of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles – Edward A. Grainger: the latest collection of shorts of our two U.S. Marshals.
4: Devil’s Ledger – Richard Prosch: the first novella in a new series of gunfighter hero John Colburn, The Peregrine.
%; The God Project(review copy) – Stan Lee: reissue coming next year from Brash Books
6: Flawless(review copy) – Tom Kakonis: another Brash Books release early next year
The third collection of Cash Laramie and Gideon Miles stories from Edward A Grainger(David Cranmer) and Chuck Tyrell. They’re both older these days, most of the tales set in the twentieth century. The two men have aged gracefully and, while their reflexes may have slowed, nevertheless they are still dangerous men. A lifetime of caution have sharpened their minds. The fact that they are older helps as well, the young dismissing them because of it.
Several tales are by Chuck Tyrell, one a memorable remembrance by Wyatt Earp’s wife Sadie to Cash’s daughter Veranda Jane to a team-up of sorts between the pair in Alaska, PROPERTY OF A GUNFIGHTER.
The ebook includes an excerpt from the last Jack Laramie, the Drifter Detective and grandson of Cash, DINERO DEL MAR by Garnett Elliott, another recommended read.
As always, an entertaining read worth the modest price asked.. Available here.
ARIZONA COLT RETURNS was somewhat of a disappointment for several reasons. The first film, which I covered this past Tuesday, starred Giuliano Gemma in the title role. Anthony Steffen takes it in this one and, while he was almost as big a star in the genre, he seemed a bit off his game in this one. Kind of uninspired acting. Part of it I’m sure was the actor’s voice for the English translation. Too deep and not a lot of expression voicing the words.
Two actors from the first film appeared in this one. Roberto Carmardiel again played the comic sidekick Double Whiskey, though he didn’t do much but drink a lot of alcohol in this one. He was an explosive expert last time around and a much meatier part. The second actor was Rosalba Neri, though with a different role this time, Paloma, the girl friend of the outlaw leader behind the plot.
Chico(Aldo Sambrell) takes a stage coach full of gold, murders all those aboard but one and he swears it was Arizona Colt who’d hit them. It’s a frame-up, the witness actually a member of the gang. An old enemy of Arizona’s, he takes great delight in setting him up.
Arizona visits the Sheriff and informs him that “if let alone, I’ll deliver the real killers in twenty-four hours!” Not that easy though. After a fight in the saloon(it seems a prerequisite of spaghetti westerns that there must be a full out brawl in the bar) lands him in jail. A quick trial and a hanging is scheduled. But a trick rig and the help of some friends helps him avoid death and sets him loose to find the real killers. He’s also offered a deal by the father of Paloma, fifty grand for Chico’s head and his daughter back. Arizona turns him down.
Double Whiskey is grabbed and, when he manages to escape, is shot at. Arizona finds him in the river, several bullets in him, and not given a chance to live. That pisses Arizona off and the old man manages to get out where the gang is headquartered.
A neat trick distracts the gang, money floating down the river. The gang rushes to gather up the bills and lets Arizona steal the two trunks of gold from the stage holdup and hide them. He’s only caught when Paloma double crosses him.
Torture doesn’t work, but the murder of his girl friend Sheila(Marcella Michelangeli) does. She manages to crawl over and cut him loose with the very knife that Chico stabbed her with before she dies.
That sets up the gum battle in the valley. One thing I did like about the fight scene. Arizona is shown loading his six shooter a number of times in the battle, something one doesn’t always see.
Grade about a C-.