Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Three for a Dime.

Even now, twenty years after acquiring this mag, I remember the excitement at finding three of my favorite hardboiled writers under a single cover. It was rare to find even two. And these three stories are all novelettes featuring series characters. Here, in the March 1942 Dime Detective, we have:

"Over a Barrel" by Robert Reeves
Fair exchange is no robbery but - when hijackers lifted 36 a barrels of fine Havana tobacco from Bookie Barnes' 10-ton behemoth of the highway - and roll down the road after the hi-jacker who had left nothing but a corpse as receipt, Bookie lost no time in jockeying his juggernaut off the Post Road and onto a murder route that wound through a cemetary, past a wedding procession, and came to a dead end in a nudist camp where everything was stripped but - luckily - the gears on Bookie's ten-ton baby.

"The Corpse That Couldn't Keep Cool" by John K. Butler
"Taxi!" And here comes Steve Midnight, cruising into trouble again. He's hot on the trail of an embezzler who's been cold for years - ever since Steve hauled him to La Brea Airport on the night of Black Friday, 1929. The Wall Street Market had just taken a fatal nose dive and the passenger's plane had followed suit - but his ghost lingered on and it was up to the hardluck hacker to drive him to another date with death.

"Have One on the House" by Norbert Davis
The onus of ownership hangs heavy on Dodd when a bail-security lands in his lap in the form of a low-down jive-dive, together with a boogie-playing professor, his sin-chasing wife, his sin-less "sponsor" - and a liquor bill for $613.o2. But when the benighted bail-bondsman finds himself the target of an uncanny killer thirsting for blood, he's damned if he'll let him have one on the house.

Also includes short stories by C.P. Donnel Jr. and Jan Dana.

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