Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Here's a vaguely sinister 1935 cover for Detective Fiction Weekly, advertising the return (and final bow) of Herman Landon's antihero Martin Dale, aka the Picaroon. The character had appeared thirty times in Street & Smith's Detective Story between 1921 and 1932. Landon had made his DFW debut back in January 1932 and had been dividing his time between the Munsey mag, Detective Story and Street & Smith's Complete Stories since then. While this issue may have marked the end of the Picaroon, Landon continued placing stories in DFW until 1938 and ended his pulp career in various Popular Publications detective mags. Regular DFW readers were probably more excited about the latest "Lady From Hell" story by Eugene Thomas, in which Vivian Legrand encounters, or is, "the London Queen of Crime." They also got a novelette by future Academy Award winner Charles G. Booth, a Ranger Jack Calhoun story by Edward Parrish Ware -- who'd been cranking them out since 1926, short stories by John H. Knox, Earl W. Scott and one Captain Havelock-Bailie, and a serial chapter from Max Brand. The "They're Swindling You!" headline heralds the debut of a nonfiction column by Frank Wrentmore that would run regularly in DFW until 1940. So you get an end and a beginning this issue, but that was probably pretty common in the weekly pulps.

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