Monday, July 10, 2017

The Chinese Gold Murders by Robert van Gulik

Gold Smuggling, 
Corruption, 
A Floating Brothel, 
An Ingenious Murder Weapon


Judge Dee is a recently appointed magistrate to the miserable town/district of Peng-lai. His predecessor has been murdered and so Judge Dee must investigate. The investigation is made more complex due to the disappearance of his chief clerk as well as the new bride of a wealthy local shipowner. Meanwhile, a tiger is terrorizing the district, the ghost of the murdered magistrate is stalking members of the court, a prostitute has a secret message for Judge Dee, and the body of a murdered monk is found to have been placed in the wrong grave. What could possibly relate all these events?


Printing History
written by Robert Hans van Gulik (1910-1967)

Michael Josephs (UK)
Harper & Brothers (US)
1959
 
Dell Publishing Company
#1265
August 1963

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The 39 Steps by John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps
 

  Set during May and June 1914 when war was evident in Europe, Richard Hannay the protagonist and narrator, returns to his new home in London, after a long stay in Rhodesia to begin a new life. One night he is interrupted by a stranger, a well-traveled American, who claims to be in fear for his life. The man appears to know of a plot to destabilize Europe, beginning with a plan to assassinate the Greek Premier during his forthcoming visit to London. The man reveals his name to be Franklin Scudder, a freelance spy, and remarks that he is dead. Scudder explains that he has faked his own death in order to avert suspicion. he then claims to be following a ring of German spies called the Black Stone who are trying to steal British plans for the outbreak of war. Hannay lets Scudder hide in his flat, and sure enough the next day another man is discovered having apparently committed suicide in the same building. Four days later Hannay returns home to find Scudder dead with a knife through his heart. He decides to go into hiding in Scotland and it goes down hill from there. The plot is eventually thwarted, and the United Kingdom enters the First World War, having kept its military secrets from the enemy.

The Movies
1935 Film
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring
Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll

1959 Film
Directed by Ralph Thomas

Starring 
Kenneth More and Taina Elg 

1978 Film
Directed by Don Sharp

Starring
Robert Powell and Karen Dotrice

2008 Film
Directed by James Hawes

Starring 
Rupert Penry-Jones and Lydia Leonard

Printing History
written by John Bucan (1875-1940)

William Blackwood and Sons
1915

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Seven Footprints To Satan by A Merritt

An American explorer was catapulted into a strange and seductive world of evil ruled by Satan himself.


The most beautiful and powerful people in the world had bargained with the Devil. They played Russian Roulette with seven footprints to world domination, and lost. They had become subject to the Collector of Infernal Revenue...Satan. The Master Player of games would glut his lust with souls and gain world power through diabolical manipulation. But into his collection comes James Kirkham, an American explorer determined to prove that the steps are stacked.
Printing History
written by Abraham Grace Merritt (1884-1943)

Boni & Liveright
ISBN 1-127-49176-6 (1928)

Avon Books 
ISBN 380-00690 (1942)
ISBN 380-20208 (1955)
ISBN 380-02417 (December 1971)

Bonus Cover