Friday, July 10, 2015


So what attracted the Scribner's reviewer's notice 77 years ago? HERE, from the June 1938 issue, are his opinions in full:

~ Grasp at Straws by Joel Y. Dane:
The hard-boiled school of detective stories is ornamented this month by Grasp at Straws (Crime Club, $2), Joel Y. Dane's tale of about as comprehensively nasty a lot of sophisticated New Yorkers as you'd snub in the Black Maria. You get your money's worth of killings; the atmosphere is all chromium plate and champagne highballs; and for good measure there's the superb full-length portrait of Hector Barbette, the radio lecturer and author of Success Through Perseverance. Yes, the murderer gets him, too. You're welcome.
~ The Cairo Garter Murders by Francis Van Wyck Mason (GAD Wiki entry HERE):
Van Wyck Mason's several stories of Captain Hugh North, 9-2, U.S.A., have always been long on adventure and thrills, and The Cairo Garter Murders (Crime Club, $2) in an exotic Egyptian background is no exception. Captain North and his British comrade in arms, Major Bruce Kilgouer, are, as usual, just too tarnation handsome to be real, but they both get pretty well mussed up before the person who decorated the corpses with red silk garters meets a deserved end.
~ The Death of a Celebrity by Hulbert Footner (GAD Wiki HERE):
The suicide note beside the corpse of Gavin Dordress, successful and envied playwright, was convincing to almost everyone except his friend, Lee Mappin, to whom it seemed a bit too much "in character." So he proceeds to solve The Death of a Celebrity, by Hulbert Footner (Harper, $2), in his own fashion and finally corners a desperate killer. The background of theatrical circles in Man-hattan is interesting.
~ Black Chronicle by William Edward Hayes (see HERE and HERE for other reviews and HERE for a movie based on another Hayes book with "Black" in the title):
Arthur Halstead, lugubrious private detective, and his chipper secretary, Marie Burton, rattle any number of cupboarded skeletons in Black Chronicle (Crime Club, $2), in which William Edward Hayes tells of the murders of a minister whose God was power and of his illicit sweetie—the dominie being a benedict. A rather unsavory yarn, but exciting.
- Previous notice of other Scribner's reviews is HERE.

Category: Detective fiction criticism

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