Wednesday, September 17, 2008

One of the best pulp mysteries

I am reading "CONCEALED WEAPON," a 1938 detective story by ROGER TORREY, one of the best of the pulp writers of the 1930s and 40s.
According to editor Otto Penzler, Torrey's last name was probably Torres, but the author insisted he was of Irish descent and gave most of his protagonists Irish names.
McCarthy is the name of the private detective in "Concealed Weapon." He arrives at his office to find a stabbed man barely alive. Checking the man's wallet, McCarthy finds a card with his detective office listed, the business card of the city's biggest investment banker and an attorney who specializes in recovering damages from accidents.
That scenario sets the scene for one of the best "who-done-it" mysteries included in "THE BLACK LIZARD BIG BOOK OF PULPS," a 1,150-page collection of crime fiction from the 1920s, 30s and 40s that I have been reading since April.
Torrey produced 50 stories for the seminal pulp magazine BLACK MASK, but only published one novel: 1938's "42 DAYS FOR MURDER."


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