Monday, January 29, 2024

RPC Tag Team: Startling Detective Adventures vs Tan Confessions Third Fall

Startling Detective

The Pockmarked Killer by W.C.I. Hallowell

Detectives catch a communist jewel thief.

Tan Confessions

My Japanese Romance

A GI marries a Japanese woman.

Startling Detective Adventures takes the third fall and retains the belt.

Startling Detective Adventures started as a romance magazine, then true romance, then crime fiction, then true crime. This July 1930 issue is supposedly the first true crime installment, though the second half is fiction.

Tanned Confessions wasn't as bleak or exploitive as the issue of Bronze Thrills I read, more standard romance. 

Sunday, January 28, 2024

RPC Tag Team: Startling Detective Adventures vs Tan Confessions Second Fall

Startling Detective

The Man With the Wounded Wrist by David Redstone

A switch to fiction - an undercover cop infiltrates the mob.

Tan Confessions

Can Women Get Along Without Men?

Woman quits her job to get married, gets bored, argues with husband about returning to work. 

Startling Detective takes the second fall

Saturday, January 27, 2024

RPC Tag Team: Startling Detective Adventures vs Tan Confessions First Fall

Three falls to a finish

Startling Detective

Two Watches Doom Lifer by John Westcott

A rum runner escapes jail and is caught by a welching snitch. Watches are involved.

Tan Confessions

How He Proposed by Mrs. Eddie Heywood

He just kinda asked, not much of story here. The romance started with this song

Both teams still getting warmed up, Startling Detective gets the first fall

Friday, January 26, 2024

Thursday, January 25, 2024

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Death ed Stuart David Schiff

ed Stuart David Schiff
1982, Playboy Paperbacks

Two Bottles of Relish by Lord Dunsany (orig Time & Tide, Nov 12, 1932)

A variation on a locked door mystery - a body disposal without leaving the house mystery. This one stayed with me since childhood, though the premise wasn't as locked in as it could be.

Deathtracks by Dennis Etchison

A Nielson family survey taker visits a couple who look for hidden messages in TV laugh tracks to explain why their son died in Vietnam.

Always Together by Hugh B. Cave

One elderly twin murders the other and keeps up a ruse that she's still alive. A good setup for a twist in the tale which never happens.

Toilet Paper Run by Juleen Brantingham

Engaging story set in a girls' reform school, but the ending felt tacked on to fit the genre.

The Green Parrot by Joseph Payne Brennan (orig Weird Tales, July 1952)

Another boring entry in the "that person you thought was alive turns out was already dead" style of ghost story.

Fragment from a Charred Diary by Davis Grubb

Comedy piece about a man using a voodoo doll to commit the political assassinations of the 1960s, escalating from there.

The Scarf by Bernice Balfour

A disfigured woman concealing her face with a scarf and a curious newspaper delivery boy.

Sentences by Richard Christian Matheson

Comedy twist in the tale about a man getting his life rewritten.

Prickly by David A. Riley

A child corrupting Satanist with a monkey familiar kills himself in a British tenement building. Years later, strange creatures scuttle the halls, and children sing nursery rhymes about Prickly.

The Kennel by Maurice Level (orig Tales of Mystery and Horror, 1920)

A cuckold husband finds the body of his wife's lover and disposes of it.

Onawa by Alan Ryan

An adoptive native girl with a taste for blood

A Telephone Booth by Wade Kenny

A gambler can get tips from the future from a pay phone.

Straw Goat by Ken Wiseman

Folk horror with murderous farmers and a sacrificial straw goat.

Horrible Imaginings by Fritz Leiber

Long piece about a creep being obsessed with his neighbor, which I skipped.

The Blind Spot by Saki (orig Beasts and Super-Beasts, 1914)

Comedy piece about a killer servant.

The Dust by Al Sarrantonio

A simpleton shut-in is obsessed with dust.

It Grows on You by Stephen King

A vignette of small town misery which feels more like background to a fuller story. It's been re-written a few times, and later versions may be more tied in to the Castle Rock mythos and be more explicitly horrific. Something about a house getting a new wing built connected with people dying, but not much meat on the bones here.

The Copper Bowl by George Fielding Eliot (orig Weird Tales, December 1928)

Nasty proto-shudder pulp yellow peril story of a French Legionnaire's love being tortured by a Chinese despot.

From Amazon

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

Season's Creepings By Ron Kelly

Season's Creepings
By Ron Kelly
2020, Macabre Ink

Jingle Bones

An abused child and his seasonally decorated cardboard cutout skeleton.

The Skating Pond

Generations of children disappear under a frozen lake.

Depravity Road

A lost motorist stumbles across the most famous house in Plainfield, Wisconsin.


A woman discovers her mother had trapped the souls of her departed family in a series of Christmas ornaments.

The Winds Within

Detectives investigate killings at a rundown apartment house.

Then Came a Woodsman

Retelling of Little Red Riding Hood from the woodsman's perspective.

As For Me, My Little Brain

Pervy mall Santa meets a special little girl.

Beneath the Branches

A family takes something home with them hidden in a Christmas tree.

Papa's Exile

A missing father returns for Christmas.

The Peddler's Journey

The spirit of a generous peddler seeks to deliver a Christmas present.

Available from Amazon

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Rage on the Page in a Cage: Cruiserweight Title Match


Our new Cruiserweight champion Ron Kelly goes toe to toe with the authors of Death, top author takes all.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

RPC Young Guns Title: Dillon vs Frenzi


Frenzi leaves Dillon spinning in the dust and becomes our next Young Guns Champion!

Saturday, January 6, 2024

Frenzi: The Mafia Massacre by R.J. Calder

Frenzi: The Mafia Massacre
by R.J. Calder

Mafia hitman John Frenzi is betrayed by his bosses in 1970s Los Angeles, sending Frenzi on a blood soaked tear of revenge. Inspired by 70s men's adventure fiction, with elements of 90s DTV action films and even a little Rockford Files with a car chase in the dirt roads of the California hills. There's a general tendency in indie fiction to get a little cute and name check their influences, but not here, just straightforward action.

Available from Amazon

Friday, January 5, 2024

Dillon and the Judas Chalice by Derrick Ferguson

Dillon and the Judas Chalice
by Derrick Ferguson

After a rousing car chase, Dillon is recruited to recover the Judas Chalice. Fun, if a less memorable entry.

Available in Dillon Annual 2018, available from Amazon