Sunday, April 26, 2015

Crossover of the Week

            The Green Ghost (George Chance) investigates the bizarre murder of an army Corporal. Agent Jeff Shannon of G-2 is also looking into the crime. Chance’s aide Joe Harper seeks a lead at the Pink Rat. Commissioner Standish tells Chance that Dan Fowler and his boys are moving in to clean up corruption at Fort Dix.
            Story by Tom Johnson in Exciting Pulp Tales, Altus Press, 2011. The Green Ghost (aka simply the Ghost) appeared in the pulp magazine The Ghost Super-Detective (later retitled The Ghost Detective and then Green Ghost Detective), and was created by G.T. Fleming-Roberts. Jeff Shannon is better known as the Eagle, who appeared in stories by “Kerry McRoberts” (Norman A. Daniels) in Thrilling Spy Stories and Popular Detective. The Pink Rat is an underworld dive bar from the Shadow novels. FBI agent Dan Fowler was created by Major George Fielding Eliot, and appeared in the pulp G-Men Detective. The year is conjecture, though the story explicitly takes place during America’s involvement in World War II.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Crossover Cover: Secret Agent X: The Sea Wraiths

Secret Agent X battles a diabolical Nazi plot to attack the U.S. The Clarion and Jim Anthony’s New York Star are mentioned as rivals to the Herald newspaper. Agent X, disguised as FBI Agent Wesley Greaves, requests aid from Commander Miles Messervie, Chief of Operations for the Special Intelligence Service, who playfully refers to his secretary as “Miss Tuppence” and “Miss Ha’penny,” and has her send for Lieutenant Tanner, who can help get “Greaves” behind enemy lines. Tanner and “Greaves” are flown to France by Lance Star and his Sky Rangers. Secret Agent X appeared in a titular pulp magazine. The Clarion newspaper is from the Phantom Detective pulp novels. Jim Anthony, the owner of the New York Star, appeared in the pulp magazine Super Detective. “Commander Miles Messervie” is better known as Vice Admiral Sir Miles Messervy (aka M) from Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels. John Pearson’s James Bond: The Authorized Biography of 007 states that Messervy did not become head of the British Secret Service until January 1946, so the reference to Messervy as head of the SIS must be in error, though he probably did work for some government agency in 1941. Messervy’s secretary is Miss Moneypenny, also from the Bond novels. Bill Tanner is MI6’s Chief of Staff in the Bond novels. Apparently the three were reunited when they joined the Secret Service. Lance Star and his Sky Rangers are Canadian pulp characters who have been revived by modern authors, notably Bobby Nash. This book takes place in late summer, between the German invasion of France in May-June 1940 and the United States’ entry into World War II in December 1941.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Crossover Cover: Getting Up with Fleas

Devlin “Trace” Tracy is hired by his former employer at an insurance company to protect a freewheeling actor on the set of his latest film. Trace’s office is above Bogie’s Restaurant, which is frequented by mystery writers and other P.I.s; Trace says, “Now, Bogie’s is getting out-of-town trade too. Only about a week before, there was this private detective from Boston who stopped in. He had a quiche cookbook under one arm and he ordered some kind of Yugoslavian beer and got drunk after two sips and then wanted to talk to the bartender about the meaning of courage.” Detectives Ed Razoni and “Tough” Jackson investigate the hit-and-run murder of a man mistaken for the actor due to the star giving him his jacket. The Boston private detective is Robert B. Parker’s Spenser, though Trace is probably exaggerating his behavior somewhat. Murphy wrote a series of novels about Detectives Razoni and Jackson in 1973-1974. Trace first met the duo in Too Old a Cat, which I covered in a previous post.