My Blog

Retirement. Publishers, thank you for the many years of reading pleasure you gave me, but all good things must come to an end. Due to failing eyesight I am forced to retire. I can no longer review your books, and any that you send will be donated to the local library, unread. Do not send any more. I can only read for a couple hours every day, and this does not allow me to finish a book in reasonable time. I will be devoting time to my own books from now on, and reading on a personal level. Books that interest me. I prefer paperbacks and hardbacks, not eBooks. My eyesight has been failing the last few years, and I cannot handle hundreds of review books any more. My books are still available for review. Anyone interested in reviewing any of them, they are found in the Link to Tom’s Books On Amazon. Contact me for pdf copies at

Monday, November 30, 2015

Europa Editions Noir November Giveaway

EUROPA EDITIONS is doing an exciting #NoirNovember giveaway of one of their titles, plus a limited edition 10th anniversary tote bag. I will be posting about Noir November on my Blog, PULP DEN and Yahoo Groups. To enter, just comment on my blog saying what you like about Noir Crime fiction.

EUROPA EDITIONS publishes some great books, and I’ve discovered excellent international authors and series over the years.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Inky Odds

Bat Conroy—cut him and he’d bleed ink, he’s a born newspaperman.  Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Eric Sevareid—the greatest American journalists of the 20th century all made their names as war correspondents, but none of them would have beat out Bat Conroy to a good story.
Which makes it that much more mystifying—and aggravating—when an unknown writer, filing under the byline Perry Lane, scoops Bat on every story that comes along.  Bat’s always been the go-to reporter covering the Japanese invasion of China . . . until this Perry Lane person came along to steal his thunder and maybe even his job.
Now, the biggest story of the war is about to hit the fan, and Bat’s going to get to the source first if it kills him.  But the most shocking news of all is the true identity of the elusive Perry Lane.  

Inky Odds (Adventure)
By L. Ron Hubbard
ISBN #978-1592122868
Price $9.95
107 Pages

“Adventure At Its Best.”

With the Japanese and Chinese battling at many fronts in China, war correspondent, Bat Conroy of WORLD PRESS is suddenly being beat to the big stories by a mysterious reporter named Perry Lane from International Service. Added to his problems, the beautiful, and rich, Gwen Fairington is looking for her missing husband, Bill Fairington. He’s been located in the besieged area of Fu-Chiang, doctoring locals for cholera. Bat must get Gwen and her aunt to the missing man, even if he has to crash through Chinese and Japanese armies, and try to beat Perry Lane to the biggest story yet.

Adventure at its best, and I didn’t want the story to end. L. Ron Hubbard was a master storyteller. Originally published in the June 1940 issue of FIVE-NOVELS Monthly, this is one of his many stories set in China during the Japanese Invasion, and featured some of his best yarns. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

Saturday, November 28, 2015

The Secret of Satan's Spine

When a vivacious blonde convinces Monk Mayfair to skip an important sea voyage to London, and instead run off to her Louisiana plantation, Ham Brooks is very suspicious.
After Doc Savage enters the picture, things start popping. As in fists and guns. Finding themselves on a steamship bound for the Caribbean, Doc, Ham, and a reluctant Monk become embroiled in wartime intrigue surrounding the question of who is desperately trying to keep them off the Northern Star, and why?
From New York City to the Bahama Banks, Doc Savage and his mighty men follow the trail, making new allies along the way, until they plunge into a hurricane of horror only some will survive....

The Secret of Satan’s Spine (Doc Savage Adventure)
By Kenneth Robeson (Lester Dent & Will Murray)
“The Wild Adventures of Doc Savage”
Altus Press
ISBN #978-1618272164
Price $24.95
374 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Blonde bombshell Davey Lee intercepts Monk and Ham at a restaurant, pretending to be stricken with the homely chemist. As usual, Monk falls for her wiles, while Ham figures it’s some kind of plant. After all, Monk is scheduled to depart on the Northern Star steamship for London in a few days to work on an important project for the British war effort. But Monk agrees to accompany the girl to Louisiana instead. However, at the station she appears to be abducted, and this leads to a battle royal with a group of gangsters.

Finding a clue left by the girl, Doc, Monk, and Ham board the Northern Star, where most of the adventure takes place aboard ship. Here they discover several old friends they knew from a previous adventure, plus a big black sailor named Jury Goines sometimes helps out. The mysterious gang is also on board, but in disguise. Doc and his team are trying to find out what they are up to.

The case comes to a wild climax when the gangsters, acting as pirates, take over the ship, kill many of the sailors, and then ground the vessel near Queer Cay. Here the gangsters lead a team of sailors to Satan’s Spine for unknown reasons while a hurricane fast approaches. Doc follows, hoping to rescue the seamen, but might end up needing rescued.

I first discovered Doc Savage in 1964 while serving with the Army in France, finding THE THOUSAND-HEADED MAN in the Stars & Stripes Book Store. At that time Will Murray was probably eleven years old. It’s interesting that I’m still reading the Doc Savage novels, Steve Holland still poses as the Man of Bronze on the covers, and the novels read as well today as they did 51 years ago. This one definitely lived up to “the wild adventures” of Doc Savage, and was a page-turner from the very start. Although we don’t see the mysterious blonde again after her abduction, we do learn what became of her when Doc relates the tale to his men. I admit I was a little confused about the date this story took place. At one point we’re told Doc discovered a certain gadget “last month,” and the note gives us DEATH HAD YELLOW EYES, February 1944, which should make this March 1944. But then Monk makes this statement: “Like the infantry took Normandy Beach.” The infantry took Normandy Beach on June 6, 1944. So I can’t place the exact time, except German U-boats were still active in the Atlantic, and WWII had not ended yet, so we’re in 1944 or ’45, for sure. If a date was actually given, I must have missed it. Regardless, this is a topnotch adventure, and I highly recommend it to adventure lovers, and Doc Savage readers specifically.

Tom Johnson

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of our Friends. We’re taking a few days off from reviews and promotions, but will be back this weekend with a review of Will Murray’s latest entry in the Doc Savage series, SATAN’S SPINE. Until then, everyone be safe, and enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Tom & Ginger Johnson

Sunday, November 22, 2015

The Seething

A while back there was this outbreak, followed shortly thereafter by the recently dead seething out of morgues and hospitals. That's why the walking dead are called 'seethers'. And the disease isn't spread just by bites from these risen dead, oh no. Mosquitoes can also spread the illness, so mosquito repellent is worth its weight in gold. So, it's half-past the middle of the apocalypse, and a man sends a policeman to help his wife and three little girls. Back home with the family, it's not all roses and sunshine. The baby girl is sick, and the mom has taken her to get help, leaving the two older girls alone. Well, alone except for their brave dog, Rascal. Then, as if things couldn't possibly get worse—they do. Will the policeman escape the horde of ravening seethers and make it out of town? Does the drunk he stumbles across really know a secret? Does the mom find help for her oddly cold and unresponsive baby? And what about the two girls left alone, with only a small dog for protection? THE SEETHING. A new kind of horror….

The Seething (A Zombie Chronicle)
By J. A. Johnson & K.G. McAbee
Create Space
ISBN #978-1502756084
Price $4.99
126 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A Zombie Apocalypse That’s Fun To Read.”

Jack Randall is in the city for medical supplies for his youngest daughter, but the streets are packed with the living dead, zombies seeking ripe flesh to eat. Before he can obtain the medicine, the zombies are upon him. But a policeman comes to his rescue, killing the dead a second time. It doesn’t help, however, as one bites Jack, turning him into a living dead also. Now the cop must kill him. Jack, before dying tells the cop to see after his wife and daughters, not knowing the secret the policeman carries.

I don’t normally read zombies, werewolves, vampires, and horror novels, but anything that K.G. McAbee writes is going to be good. Plus, I’ve read Jim Johnson’s work before also, and knew this was going to be a story with a plot, action, and good writing. I wasn’t disappointed. The story never slowed down, the zombies plodded forward always after ripe flesh, and little could stop them. I knew going into the story that there would be few, if any survive by the end, but there is always hope, even in a zombie apocalypse. Highly recommended for the horror genre, and readers who just love a well-crafted yarn.

Tom Johnson