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The Mystery of the Smoking Gun

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APA: Death’s Juggler (1935)

11 review for The Mystery of the Smoking Gun

  1. 4 out of 5

    Aidan

    Tough city cop Satan Hall is fast on the draw, and well known as one of the best amongst the criminals, and the Commisioner, who allows Satan to work the way he wants to. But when he goes against big city gangster Johnny ZItto, Satan may lose his job, his love, and the career of the Commissioner... Most people who are into hard-boiled fiction, and particular the hayday of the pulp magazine in the 20’s & 30’s would know about Carrol John Daly, and his infamous character, Race Williams. The gunsli Tough city cop Satan Hall is fast on the draw, and well known as one of the best amongst the criminals, and the Commisioner, who allows Satan to work the way he wants to. But when he goes against big city gangster Johnny ZItto, Satan may lose his job, his love, and the career of the Commissioner... Most people who are into hard-boiled fiction, and particular the hayday of the pulp magazine in the 20’s & 30’s would know about Carrol John Daly, and his infamous character, Race Williams. The gunslinger Private Eye with a penchant for vigilante justice that would eventually come the basis for Mickey Spillane’s bestselling Mike Hammer. But, Race Williams wasn’t Daly’s only modern gunslinger, as evidenced by tough city Detective Satan Hall, in this novel, originally syndicated in Dime Detective. Well, not exactly. Dime Detective didn’t allow for syndicated stories, and instead required it’s writers to create an entire story for each issue. Daly got around this in a very simple fashion. So, the main story of this book is about Hall going up against big city tough John Zitto, but in his stories for Dime Detective, Hall would usually go up against Zitto’s gunmen and accomplices, and would finally finish with Zitto’s death. This makes, being a Daly novel, for a very fast paced and violent read. I’d estimate that par each three to five chapters you read, Daly introduces a new henchman of Zitto’s, bigs him up as a tough guy, has Satan deliver a challenge to him, and eventually gun him down in some elaborate, but fun conclusion. Then it all starts over again. Until Daly decides to wrap it up, and have Satan go against Zitto in the big showdown. It can be fun, but I find that Daly’s prose is kind of flat, and it takes all of the fun out of the mayhem. Unlike, for example, Spillane’s work, when he does violence, it’s always intense and gratifying. But I didn’t find much of anything in this book that gave me any other reaction but mild entertainment. If you’re interested, or read and liked other work of Daly’s, I’d definitely recommend it, especially for the great $6.95 price that I found for it on Vintagelibrary.

  2. 4 out of 5

    David Lynch

  3. 5 out of 5

    Sven-marcus

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jota

  5. 4 out of 5

    Peter

  6. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

  7. 4 out of 5

    Paperback Junky

  8. 5 out of 5

    Elliot

  9. 4 out of 5

    Karl Hickey

  10. 4 out of 5

    rêveur d'art

  11. 4 out of 5

    Creolecat

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