Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Yesterday we took a closer look at the top row of this small portion of the Stephen Mertz Unpublic Library of Tucson, AZ. Today we're moving on to row Two. What wonders will we find? Read on . . .

Way over there on the left, above Steve's shoulder, is a glimpse of the Mertz section. Unlike the others, these are not filed alphabetically by author, but I suppose they're entitled to a place of honor.  

The first thing we see are these two Crossroad Press hardcovers. Devil Creek is a reissue, and The Castro Directive is an original.

After another hardcover with the title obscured is the first of the Blaze! books, an indecipherable trade paperback and at least a couple more Blazes! (More about Blaze! HERE, HERE, and HERE.) And that's it.  I wish I wish we had a look at the whole Mertz section, because Steve has written at least a couple of bushels of books, but for purposes of this post, what we see is what we get. 

Returning to the regular rotation, there are some books I should be able to identify, but can't. I've seen that fat white paperback that starts with a P many times in used bookstores, but can't put a name on it. Same for the salmon colored pb to the right of the Cussler book. Another Cussler? I just can't be sure. 

These are the first two I can be sure of. I knew Steve was a Spillane reader, but didn't know about Cussler. (I enjoyed all the books Cussler wrote alone, but haven't delved into the collaborations.)

And now we come to the Dalys, with Snarl, the first Race Williams novel, and The Man in the Shadows, a third-person adventure of Daly's first-person pre-Race private investigator, Two-Gun Terry Mack. 

The Hidden Hand is the second Race novel, and Vee Brown was Daly's Dime Detective guy, until Race himself jumped from Black Mask to Dime in 1935. More Vee Brown talk HERE

Next to Vee Brown there's a black hardcover I don't recognize (what the heck is that, Steve?) followed by the extra-fun Mr. Strang (discussed HERE) and the first collection of unrelated Race novelettes, from 1989.

And right next to that is another of my favorite books, the first novel in the Doan & Carstairs series (described HERE.)

Here's another mystery. On the left here are four Gold Medals, who apparently fall between Davis and Dent. But I can't think of any Gold Medal authors in that range who wrote that many books. Can you?

The Dent books start with a couple of Doc Savages (can't read the titles), then stand tall with Genius Jones, the first book publication of an Argosy serial from 1937. (More about that HERE.) Next to that is a taller book with a white spine. All I can read on that one is DENT, and I want to know more. What is it, Steve?

Several more Savages follow, but the only ones I can name are these. 

After that, Dent's first two Crime Club novels. Dead at the Take-Off is discussed HERE.

Lady Afraid was Dent's third and final Crime Club entry (more HERE), and Flight Into Fear was Will Murray's fifth Doc Savage novel, published way back in 1993. There are a couple of Doc Omnibuses nearby. I had hopes of naming those, but there were more than one in each of those colors.

Cry at Dusk (reviewed HERE) was Dent's sleaziest book, and Lady in Peril (HERE) a first edition Ace Double. 

Finishing out the Dents is this Hard Case novel, unpublished until 2009. After Honey, there are a few Sherlock Holmes books (grist, no doubt, for Zombies Over London), followed by more titles I wish I could decipher.

The next things I can see, though, are two editions of this western I now want to read. Other Fieldhouse paperbacks follow, which I may be hunting too. 

The end of this row brings still another mystery. I see what appear to be three or four Gunsmith books by "J.R. Roberts." If these had been penned by Gunsmith creator Robert Randisi, they'd be down on row four with the other Randisis. So who, with an F or G initial, wrote these babies?

Tomorrow: We move to row Three with more questions than answers. Come back and see which are which.  


Anonymous said...

I'm thinking that at least some of the Gold Medals that fall between Davis and Dent might be the work of Ovid Demaris.
The first one looks like The Hoods Take Over.
Why is this fun?

John Hocking

Stephen Mertz said...

Evan, I cannot let a fellow enthusiast’s questions go unanswered. And so:

The hardcover next to sabotage is Adams’ “Decoy.”

The “spineless paperback” is Cleve’s “No Wings on a Cop”

Right on the Avallone Ace: The Violent Virgin is one of my top favorite Nooners.

The salmon covered puppy is “The Dr. Zeng Omnibus” (Bellem & Ballard collaborations)

That “fat white paperback that starts with a “P” is “The Patriots” by Chet Cunningham

The salmon covered Cussler is his “Dragon.” No, I’ve never bothered with the collabs either.

John Hocking is right. Those four Gold Medals are by Ovid Demaris, a very fine writer who is rarely mentioned these days.

The “white spine” Dent title collects two novellas: “Hades” and “Hocus Pocus.” Much as I love Dent’s Docs, I admire more his stand alones.

Those Gunsmiths are by Bill Fieldhouse.

Thanks for dropping by!

Evan Lewis said...

Good call, John.

And thanks, Steve. You fooled me with No Wings On a Cop, and it even has a spine. At least I got the publisher right. I remember now knowing that Hades and Hocus Pocus book existed, and forgetting. Now that Altus owns Argosy, another reprint should be coming.

The Dr Zeng book strikes an even dimmer chord. Were those stories in Super-Detective?

Stephen Mertz said...

I really like the Dr. Zeng stories. They remind me of the Mr. Wong movies by Monogram. Low rent Charlie Chan but with action. E. Hoffman Price invented the character but only wrote one story. Bellem and Ballard wrote six adventures a few years later for Popular Detective. The book in question collects all of the stories and is a real treat.