Friday, February 26, 2016


Better days at Detective Fiction Weekly: it's 1938 and the magazine is still 144 pages a week. Here's a nice cover with minimal copy advertising a genuinely decent sized "short novel" of 47 pages, apparently dealing with labor unrest, a hot topic during the Depression. Frederick C. Painton was a pretty good writer who started out in war and "war-air" pulps in the late 1920s. He broke into Argosy late in 1935, made it into Blue Book in June 1936 and made his DFW debut that October.  By 1938 most of his stuff was appearing in Munsey mags, including his Argosy series about the globetrotting insurance investigator Dan Harden. He dabbled in "fantastics" a little for Argosy with his Time Detective series, but as the situation deteriorated at Munsey during 1941 he started publishing more in Short Stories and Blue Book, starting a series for the latter about the secret agent Jason Wyatt. He went to war as a correspondent and died of a heart attack on Guam in 1945.  Norman A. Daniels and Frederick C. Davis probably are the best-known names among the other contributors. I know nothing about most of the contents but I'd say Painton's simple "Fink" is the best title in the table. Believe it or not, this was the fourth consecutive issue without a story by Richard Sale, but he'd be back with a Daffy Dill novelet the following week.

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