The Avenger(1931)

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downloadTHE AVENGER concerns the efforts of a man to exact justice for his brother’s murder simply to gain control of a gold mine. Buck Jones(though billed here as Charles ‘Buck’ Jones) is Joaquin Murietta(pronounced Wa-keen), a man forced to watch his brother hanged as a horse thief by three men: Black Kelly(Otto Hoffman), Ike Mason(Edward Peil Sr.), and Al Goss(Walter Percival). Murietta is left alive, though severely beaten.

Joaquin Murietta was a real figure in the early California west. An outlaw, he was known by some as the Robin Hood of the West.

A card on screen lets us know some years have gone by.Avenger

Kelly, Mason, and Goss are businessmen now, the proceeds of “their” gold mine having elevated their station in life. Kelly is a banker, Mason owns a saloon, and Goss is a businessman. Suddenly a mysterious figure starts robbing the stages carrying gold back to town. He never bothers the passengers or stage crew, never takes anything but the gold. He is known as The Black Shadow.

the-avenger-movie-poster-1931-1020198157At that same time, a gentleman named Carter arrives in town with his friend Windy(Sidney Bracey). It’s Murietta, an older man in less noticeable dress and the Hispanic accent gone. He immediately saves the life of Helen Lake(Dorothy Reiver), a school teecher and sister of the sheriff from a horse stampede started by Windy(a posse’s mounts). She’s interested in the handsome stranger ad we get a set-up with Goss. The man wants Helen to marry him, but she doesn’t have a lot of interest.

A message is left on the wall of the saloon:

When death comes calling

Black Kelly

Ike Mason

Al Goss

and signed below:

The Black Shadow

Whenever The Black Shadow is onscreen, his face is never seen clearly. A big,1000467637-w370 floppy wide brimmed sombrero and filming intentionally dark around him, he speaks with a thick accident and maneuvers each man, in order of the message, into being killed. He never does it himself.

The Avenger owes more than a little to Zorro I think. He doesn’t wear a mask or a sword, instead a pair of pistols on his hips, but still it’s there.

I liked this one.

New In The House

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1: To Parts Unknown(review copy) – John Anthony Miller: London, January 1942. London Times war correspondent, George Adams, is a tortured soul, devastated by his wife’s death and rejected by all branches of the military. Destroyed by events he couldn’t control, he can’t face the future and won’t forget the past. His editor sends him to Singapore, a city threatened by the Japanese, hoping the exotic location and impending crisis will erase his haunting memories. Within minutes of his arrival, George is caught in a near-fatal air raid that triggers a chain of conflict and catastrophes.

2: The Fourth Amendment(review copy) – S M Smith: When Kris Storm, the new manager of an elite cybersecurity team at Illuminate, a global internet powerhouse, receives an order to sift through web traffic to further the presidential ambitions of the mayor of New York, she stomps out the door in protest. But her staunch belief in the protection of an individual’s right to privacy is tested when her boss abruptly shuts down the project a few weeks later. By then, a disturbing trail of terrorist activity, albeit circumstantial, has emerged.

3: Cardiff & The Valleys In The Great War – Gary Dobbs: Looks at the Cardiff Pals and other local regiments who fought in the Great War and how the experience of war impacted on the area, from the initial enthusiasm for sorting out the German Kaiser in time for Christmas 1914, to the gradual realization of the enormity of human sacrifice the families of Cardiff were committed to as the war stretched out over the next four years. An important place for Coal export this book looks at how the balance between working and fighting was achieved by the Dockyard workers

4: The Cold War Swap – Ross Thomas: At the height of the Cold War, two Americans are runnng a bar in the West German capital, called Mac’s place. One of the pair, Michael Padillo, isn’t around a lot; he keeps disappearing on “business trips.” McCorkle, his partner, wisely doesn’t ask questions; he knows Padillo has a second job — he’s a (reluctant) US agent. But McCorkle is ready to answer a call for help from Padillo, and he joins his friend in a blind journey with no inkling of what they will encounter at the turn of each dark and dangerous corner.

5: Roadmarks – Roger Zelazny: The Road runs from the unimaginable past to the far future, and those who travel it have access to the turnoffs leading to all times and places–even to the alternate time-streams of histories that never happened. Why the Dragons of Bel’kwinith made the Road–or who they are–no one knows. But the Road has always been there and for those who know how to find it, it always will be!

and the ebooks:

5: Armageddon’s Arc(review copy) – Victor Baptiste: Imagine there is a Hell and you find yourself there. This very hour. What will you do? You don’t plan to go to Hell? Very few people do. Many are called, but few are chosen for Heaven. Hell is the ultimate catastrophe for us, yet individually and as a species, we have no strategy for how to handle it.

7: The Circle(review copy) – Mario Escobar: The famous psychiatrist Solomon Lewin has left his humanitarian work in India to serve as the chief psychiatrist at the Center for Psychological Illness located in London’s Square Mile financial district. Though well paid, the job is monotonous, and Solomon is also going through a rough patch in his marriage with Margaret. He begins scrutinizing the more mysterious cases of the center’s long-term residents hoping to find something worth his time. When he comes across the chart of Maryam Batool, a young broker from London who has lived in the center for seven years, his life will change forever.
Maryam Batool is an orphan from Pakistan who became one of the most promising female employees of the financial institution General Society, but in the summer of 2007, at the start of the financial crisis, the young broker loses her mind and tries to kill herself. Since then she has been stuck, able only to draw circles yet unable to understand their meaning.

8: All Those Hungry Mouths(review copy) – Keith Rawsom: poems from the crime writer.

3 Bullets For Ringo(3 colpi di Winchester per Ringo)1966

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Mickey Hargitay is Ringo Carson and Gordon Mitchell is Frank Sanders. Before3-COUPS-DE-WINCHESTER-POUR-RINGO the war they’d been friends and partners. The pair do jobs for money. They were hired by saloon owner Walcom(Amedeo Trilli, billed as Mike Moore) to rescue his daughter Jane(Milla Sannoner), being held for ransom by a group of Mexicans. It seems to be a regular occurrence as it’s mentioned this is the third attempt. When they hit the Mexican camp, Ringo, the better shot, provides cover fire while Sanders rescues Jane.

This sets up a triangle of sorts. Sanders is attracted to Jane, but she has her eye on Ringo. Dad doesn’t want to pay the agreed on fee, which Ringo had upped at the last moment and the two friends end up in a brief shoot-out, with Ringo and Chase shooting the guns out of their opponent’s hands.

images (2)The banker and the bad boy of the film, is Daniels(Ivano Staccioli, billed as John Heston). He forces Walcom to pay the two men. His thing is he’s after three pieces of land with gold on it that only he knows about.

Ringo and Chase end up fighting over the affections of Jane, Ringo winning, and the friendship ended. Chase rides off.

From that point, the film jumps a number of years to the last days of the war. Ringo and Jane had married, had a son(who looks about seven), and Ringo was sheriff of the town his father had founded. Mama Carson had reconciled(three years before the early events, she’d tossed him out for his money hungry ways). Now he was the only thing that kept Daniels at bay.

When Ringo forms a posse to go after marauding Rebs, he’s hurt rescuing a3 colpi di Winchester per Ringo [aka 3 Bullets for Ringo] (1966)_03 small boy from a burning house when a beam hits the back of his head. It costs him his sight. As he’s about to be killed, the Rebel leader, which happens to be old friend Frank Chase, stops them. They return him home where the doctor says his sight could return, possibly, after another head blow.

Chase, since Ringo is now blind, is offered the Sheriff’s job, which suits both Daniels and Walcom. Daniels still wants those three properties and Walcom wants his gun running to Mexico overlooked. Chase is given orders to get those three deeds.

But Mama Carson has her own plans. The other two land owners go into partnership with her, letting her hols the deeds to their land. She turns them over to Ringo who hides them, aided by his friend Tom(Spartaco Conversi, billed as Spean Convery).

8032807024189Mama is shot to death by three masked me sent to find the deeds when she surprises them, Jane and the blind Ringo are savagely beaten, Ringo receiving a number of boots to his head.

Guess what?

Correct, His sight starts returning just in time for him to go a revenge jag. His son is missing(granddad is hiding him from Daniels and Chase. Jane is under arrest. And Ringo and Tom are off plotting a way to rescue them.

Gordon Mitchell’s Frank Chase is a complex character. He wants to be a bad boy, but, though it’s been years since they partnered, he still has affection for Ringo. Oh, he wants Jane and makes his play, but will not force himself on her. Though he goes after Ringo and Tom, he won’t kill them and shows his true colors in the finale of the film.

A few thoughts:

Not a bad film, but a couple of curiosities.

This was the early days of the spaghetti western genre(even before itimages acquired that umbrella title). They seemed not quite have a handle on westerns yet. Generally right, but in the fight scenes, they bad boys, all of them, had a tendency to fan the triggers on their six guns. It was odd seeing a dozen men in a scene all fanning their triggers.

Another scene had a saddled horse in the back ground playing. At least that’s what it looked like. Getting down and rolling in the dirt, jumping up, getting back down, all while the actors did their parts in the foreground.

Emimmo Salvi durected from a script by Ambrogio Moltoni and Salvi, story by by James Wilde. Don’t think I’ve run across any of them in other films.

FFB: The Blaster: The Girl With The Dynamite Bangs – Lou Cameron

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10641126_10153281528456584_7124895049587654907_n (1)Boomer Green is a war hero and a soldier of fortune. He’s in Brazil, hired to clear a logjam at the mouth of a tributary of the Amazon river. It’s a huge pile of trees reaching kilometers. And growing. Not mention that the rainy season was at hand.

His employer was the von Lindenhoff family, a former Nazi and his two children. Lolo was full German, born before the move, and Kurt had a Brazilian mother. The jam would flood their crop fields if something wasn’t done.

Someone, Boomer quickly learned, was lieing. Lolo and the old man claimed no Indians lived in the lower valley. Kurt and others said there were natives in there. Worse, while examining the jam looking for key logs, Boomer finds a large number cut with a chain saw. Everyone swears there’s no logging companies upstream.

The jam was deliberate and our hero wades through the lies, attempts on his life, several, and two women hitting on him as he tries to find out what’s behind it all.

Though numbered 1, it was the only novel featuring The Blaster. Maybe it didn’t sell well or Cameron decided not to continue. The publisher was Lancer,long since folded, from 1973.

April 2015 Book Round-Up

89: TH: A Dubious Race: The Phoenician Stones (A Colton Banyon Mystery Book 14)(ebook) – Gerald J. Kubicki & Kristopher Kubicki Nino

90: CH: TIGERS: Fun Facts and Amazing Photos of Animals in Nature (Amazing Animal Kingdom Book 11)(ebook) – Emma Child

91: MY: Tender is LeVine (Jack LeVine Mysteries) – Andrew Bergman

92: TH: Joe Hunter: Instant Justice: and other action-packed tales(ebook) – Matt Hilton

93: WE: Gunfire Ridge(Bodie Kendrick-Bounty Hunter Book 4)(Ebook) = Wayne D. Dundee

94: SF: Finches of Mars – Brian W. Aldiss

95: MY: Dry Bones: A Walt Longmire Mystery – Craig Johnson

96: CH: Taya’s Enchanted Tutu: The Taming of the Black Hearts(ebook) – Doreen Linda Funk

97: CH: Kids:Whats Book – 4: Kids book,Moral stories,Bedtime Stories,Children’s Books, Early Reader(ebook) – Tanveer Ahmed

98: HR: Children of The Mark(ebook) – Michael W. Garza

99: TH: Last Train To Casablanca(ebook) – Shayne Youngblood

100: CH: Jack’s Wagers (A Jack O’ Lantern Tale)(ebook) – Wirton Arvel

101: HR: Headstone Sonata: Volume 1(ebook) – Jorge Bocanegra

102: MY: See Also Murder: A Marjorie Trumaine Mystery – Larry D. Sweazy

103: BI: Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!: My Adventures in The Alice Cooper Group – Dennis Dunaway and Curtis Hodenfield

104: CR: Frank Incensed – A Frank Rozzani Detective Novel (Book 3)(ebook) – Don Massenzio

105: TH: Tales of Tinfoil: Stories of Paranoia and Conspiracy(ebook) – edited by David Gatewood

106: TH: A Dubious Mission: The Aryan Tablet (Colton Banyon Mysteries Book 1)(ebook) – Gerald J. Kubicki

107: TH: Touchfeather – Jimmy Sangster

108: TH: Hellbound(ebook) – Chester D. Campbell

109: WE: Bounty For A Lawman (Samaria, Kansas Book 1)(ebook) – David Hardy

110: WE: War on Whiskey Row (Samaria, Kansas Book 2)(ebook) – David Hardy

111: WE: Trail of the Cyclone (Samaria, Kansas Book 3)(ebook) – David Hardy

112: AD: Armstrong Dent – Season One: Ten Stories – One Team (A Classified Armstrong Dent Tale)(ebook) – Aeyess

113: TH: Independence Day – Ben Coes

114: HR: Tight Little Stitches in a Dead Man’s Back(ebook) – Joe R. Lansdale

115: TH: Executive(ebook) – Leslie Wolfe

116: CH: Oliver & Jumpy, Stories 1-3(ebook) – Werner Stejskal

117: SP: Touchfeather, Too – Jimmy Sangster

118: WE: Sidewinders: Bleeding Texas – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

119: Lucy’s Christmas Miracle(ebook) – Don Massenzio

120: TH: Jack in the Green (The Hunt for Jack Reacher Series Book 5)(ebook) – Diane Capri

121: HR: Because We Told Her To(ebook) – Sal Conte

122: NF: The Crime of Our Lives(ebook) – Lawrence Block

123: WE: Shawn O’Brien Town Tamer # 1 – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

124: WE: MacCallister: Kill Crazy (MacCallister The Eagles Legacy) – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

125: WE: The Outlaw Ranger(ebook) – James Reasoner

126: TH: The Hoard(ebook) – Neil Grimmett

127: PO: All Those Hungry Mouths(ebook) – Keith Rawson

128: WE: MacCallister Kingdom Come (Maccallister: the Eagles Legacy) – William W. Johnstone with J. A. Johnstone

129: AD: The Blaster: The Girl With The Dynamite Bangs – Lou Cameron

New In The House

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1: No Dogs In Philly(review copy) – Andy Futuro: Philadelphia. Elzi on every corner, cops just itching to crack a skull, and the Gaespora lordin’ it up in their high towers while the rest of the filth dribbled down the sewer. Saru had a way out. All she had to do was find the girl, one skinny stray with blue, blue eyes-bluer than anyone had ever seen-and ten million fat bucks were hers. Except someone was killing blue-eyed girls, and they were A-list, major-league, cold-sweat effective. And something about the end of all existence if she failed.

and the ebooks:

2: Murder By Bequest(review copy) – John Spencer Pantiss: With the story opening on the scene of a “family squabble” between the two main (series) characters, Sherrod Reynard Colsne (pronounced kōn, with silent “l” and “s”) and Montague Boyd “Monty” Weston, the latter makes casual mention of a recent and bizarre murder, in an attempt to arouse his employer and friend to action. Action in this sense means business, the work of a professional detective.

3: Everville: The Fall of Brackenbone(review copy) – Roy Huff: Two very different worlds, Easton Falls University and the magical realm of Everville are in dire need of a hero. Owen Sage embarks on an epic journey of monumental proportions to save these worlds all while fighting to keep the world within himself intact. This quest is not for the faint of heart nor is it for the weak of mind—only the bravest will succeed. Discovering the well-kept secret of The Fourth Pillar of Truth is only part of the feat. Owen will have to outwit the ever-powerful villain Governor Jahal and overcome countless other challenges along the way. Amongst all of the dragons, giants and grand chaos, will Owen’s acquired skills and wisdom be enough to save both worlds or will peril be the ultimate fate of all?

4: Spettra(review copy) – Adam Gainer: ide the walls Whitewall Psychiatric Institute, strange things have been happening. Perfectly healthy doctors are dropping dead like flies, and a certain psychiatrist begins to hear voices. All of them are crying for help. Tara, a woman crippled by a motor vehicle accident the year before, begins to see beyond the physical world she that has now been banned from. She begins to see a wonderful place, where the horizon is breathtaking, and it is where Tara can finally walk and speak again.

5: Deadly Flare-Up – Linda Pendleton: Sex, drugs and missing money … not your ordinary trip to the dentist! An ex-con, a stripper, a psychologist and a dentist, all have one thing in common ─ former Southern California D.A., turned private investigator, Richard McCord. Surviving numerous challenges over the years, both personally and professionally, Richard McCord discovers he’s again facing a predicament. What appeared to be a simple case quickly explodes into multiple murders, a Mexican drug cartel connection, temptation from a vivacious exotic dancer, and maybe even a serious relationship with a beautiful therapist.

6: Don’t Dare A Dame – M. Ruth Meyers: Depression-era private investigator Maggie Sullivan risks losing her P.I. license — and her life — when two spinsters hire her to learn the fate of their father, who vanished twenty-six years earlier. She’s barely started when her main suspect commits suicide and Maggie is summoned before the powerful chief of police. A stroke of his pen will revoke her license, and he warns her he’s getting complaints about her from City Hall.

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