Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Phantom Detective - Death Over Puget Sound

Death Over Puget Sound
by Laurence Donovan (Robert Wallace)
Phantom Detective 103
Phantom Detective September 1941

The Phantom heads out to the Pacific Northwest to investigate a series of high altitude murders against mountain climbers and lumberjacks by the ruthless Black Wolf gang led by the mysterious Echo Voice.  There's an unusual cast of characters, including a pro-wrestler, an amazonesque mountainlady, and a deranged prophet.  And bankers, lots of bankers.

Another unfair mystery from this series, with most of the revelations coming from a peek at bank records the reader isn't privy to until the end.  A lot of convolutions with further convolutions to explain them.  Luckily this piece has plenty of action, including a white water rapids rescue from a dynamite loaded barge and a downhill chase with a runaway streetcar.

I'm still having issues visualizing the Phantom in the story.  He spends much of the time in disguise, but much of the time he just goes around in the open as the Phantom.  He doesn't seem to wear the mask as shown on the cover - I guess either the character or the writer just aren't bothering to keep his secret identity that secret.

1 comment:

  1. This was very likely one of Donovan's plots for Doc Savage, rewritten as a Phantom Detective. There are several others that are curiosities, as well. I've always like the setting of this one.