City of Corpses, the Collected Weird Mysteries of Ken Carter by Norvell Page, Black Dog Books, February 2009 trade paper, 206 pages, pulp fiction. note: the scene on the cover does not occur in the book.
Here are six pulp “novels” from 1933, and a short story 1935, all from Ten Detective Aces magazine. I put the word novels in quotes because pulp length novels are short, really novella length. Though the title names them as weird mystery, only three really have a weird element to them, and then not much. However, the novels are quite entertaining, and Statues of Horror and Gallows Ghost are especially enjoyable. The short story, “Satan’s Sideshow” is both mercifully short and forgettable.
I bought this from Black Dog Books a decade ago, but have just now gotten it off the shelf to read, and I’m glad I did. This is a lot of fun, and it’s still available from Black Dog Books.
In addition to the novels, there’s a 1935 article by Norvell Page detailing his approach to writing, which I found very interesting.
- Introduction by Robert Weinberg
- Hell’s Music
- City of Corpses
- Statues of Horror
- Gallows Ghost
- The Devil’s Hoof
- The Sinister Embrace
- Satan’s Sideshow
- “How I Write” by Norvell Page
- About the Author by Tom Roberts
These sound worth a try. Maybe I will get the ebook version of this. I find it easier to read short pieces in ebook format.
I didn’t think pulp stories were your cuppa, Tracy. I like Page, but he’s done better ones.
Pulp is not my favorite, but I like to try different types of fiction. And shorter pieces sometimes work better in that situation.
Too bad the scene wasn’t included, because I love the cover picture.
Yep, I kept waiting for that story and it never came.
Me too. I would hang that cover up in my house.
Yes, it’s pretty cool.
Like you, I bought CITY OF CORPSES long ago and then promptly forgot about it. I’ll have to devote some time this weekend rooting around in my basement looking for it. I’ve read other Novell Page works so I’m sure I would enjoy CITY OF CORPSES, too!
Shouldn’t be hard to find, just look in the “P” section.
Haven’t got to this yet, but it sounds great.
Incidently, i mentioned this book to a friend who had just lost her father, also named Ken Carter. She bought the book immdeiately and thanked me profusely.
Great story, Jerry.
That cover art is by the great Walter Baumhofer, from the December 15, 1934 issue of DIME DETECTIVE, an issue that contained stories by Erle Stanley Gardner, Frederick Nebel, Carroll John Daly, T.T. Flynn, and Donald Barr Chidsey.
The cover artist is attributed, but not that source, so thanks for that, James.
I like Page’s Ken Carter stories. They’re not as good as his Spider novels but still a lot of fun.
I completely agree. These were different, fun, quick.