Shock Troops of Justice collects twelve stories that appeared in Blue Book between 1935 and 1938, all focusing on Duke Ashby of the F.B.I. The most shocking thing about them is that they were far more realistic than other crime stories of the day. In a preface to the first story, Mill says he met personally with J. Edgar Hoover and gained full access to the inner workings, methods and case files of the F.B.I. How true that is I don't know, but he sure seems to know his stuff.
While these stories are fiction - and well-written fiction to boot - the criminals, the crimes and the methods Duke Ashby and his fellow agents employ all ring true. I picked up the book intending to sample the first story, and got so interested I read three in a row. These are tales, I have no doubt, that Dashiell Hammett would have admired.
Blue Book is not a mag we hear much about today, but it was one of the best of its time. Mill's work was running alongside that of guys like Carl Sandburg, Edgar Rice Burroughs and H. Bedford-Jones, and he deserved to be there. He had a sly and clever wit, and many of his lines sneak up on you and make you smile.
Check out Shock Troops of Justice, and the rest of the amazing Black Dog line, right HERE.