When the Death-Bat Flies: the Detective Stories of Norvell Page

When the Death-Bat Flies: the Detective Stories of Novel Page edited by Matthew Moring, introduction by Will Murray, Altus Press 2010 hardcover, first edition, 775 pages, hard-boiled detective stories

When the Death-Bat Flies front cvrPage, whose middle name was Wordsworth, broke into print during the depression while working for the New York Herald-Tribune as a crime reporter. He wrote pulp stories in several genres, including westerns, but primarily wrote for the mystery and crime titles, first for Dell’s Scotland Yard, then for Ten Detective Aces, Strange Detective Stories and a host of others before breaking into Black Mask and writing for The Spider magazine. He was prolific.

This collection focuses primarily on Page’s contributions to Detective Tales and Strange Detective Mysteries. Detective Tales followed the pulp formula editors called “detective-action” while Strange Detective Stories was more “murder-mystery” themed.

When the Death-Bat Flies back cvrThis collection of 33 stories offers an unparalleled look at the detective and mystery writing of one of the best and brightest of the crime pulp writers. The book contains the following stories:

  • “Murder Undercover”
  • “Law—Without a Badge!”
  • “Forsaking All Else!”
  • “Like Father—”
  • “Once a Cop—”
  • “The Love That Kills”
  • “When Guns Turn Traitor”
  • “The Death Game”
  • “Death For His Fee!”
  • “Manhattan Nocturne”
  • “Double Cross—with Honor”
  • “Between Two Loves”
  • “Comeback of the Damned”
  • “Copper’s Cross”
  • “Alias the Corpse Maker”
  • “Women Take the Rap”
  • “Murder Rides the Flood”
  • “The Man Who Wouldn’t Stay Dead”
  • “Murder Edits the News”
  • “When the Death-Bat Flies”
  • “Crime’s Capital City”
  • “The Devil’s Clinic”
  • “Corpse Fever Is Catching”
  • “Murder Follows the Headlines”
  • “Satan’s Penthouse Carnival”
  • “Crime’s Christmas Carol”
  • “Skulls Always Grin!”
  • “The Glamour of Sin!”
  • “Blood of the Dragon’s Horn”
  • “Tough Little Girl”
  • “Fingers of Fear”
  • “A Corpse for Company”
  • “Dead Hands Can’t Kill!”

About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to When the Death-Bat Flies: the Detective Stories of Norvell Page

  1. tracybham says:

    That looks like a good collection. And a very nice cover. It would take me a long time to get through it, but it probably won’t take you so long.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    Sorry for the late comment but we’re out of town and I only have my phone with me. I’ve liked the little of Page I’ve read and I have been intending to pick up some of the reprints of his stuff. This looks like a possibility. Can’t tell from the titles as to whether I’ve read any.

    • I hope your trip is going smoothly, Jeff. Somehow I didn’t think you were leaving until tomorrow. Not many of these stories have appeared elsewhere except in their original publication, as noted above. It’s classic hard-boiled pulp stuff, certainly a change from my other reading of late.

  3. Also, a note on weather: it stayed in the 70s today with a marine layer over us. What a relief!

  4. Jeff Meyerson says:

    We are in Boston until tomorrow. To Salem today, weather permitting. We were close to 100 yesterday, but missed the worst of it as we were on Cape Cod, which was a little cooler. Heavy thunderstorms last night. Only mid-80s today and much cooler tomorrow. More rain tonight and tomorrow. We should be home Friday night.

  5. Jerry House says:

    I’m a big Norvell Page fan, Rick. This collections sounds good.

  6. 1412064gk says:

    Sounds good! I’m ordering it now!

  7. Patti Abbott says:

    I will look online for a sampling of his writing.

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