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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

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Grottos of Chinatown

Grottos of Chinatown
By Arthur J. Burks
ISBN #978-1935031086
Off Trail Publications
189 Pages
Price: $16.00
Rating 5-Star

After returning from the Far East, Dorus Noel becomes an undercover agent for the police department in New York City. He had spent years in the Far East, and had the torture scars to prove it. But once touched by China, he was unable to give that world up. Manhattan's Chinatown contains the most insidious crimes and criminals imaginable, and is a society of strange alliances, a place of dark menace and mystery. It is an urban nightmare of secret passageways riddling the district like rabbit warrens, a new world under the shadow of China's past.

This volume collects the eleven Dorus Noel stories from the pulp, All Detective Magazine (1933-34). Also included is extensive new information on All Detective and the fascinating career of pulp-writer Arthur J. Burks by John Locke.

Burks’ stories are short, with little time to truly examine the characters, but they are presented with clear images of evil. Fu Manchu like masterminds, with insidious murder inventions, including mysterious poisons and venoms, along with unimaginable death traps. All Detective aimed at the short story, with strong villains and heroes, and endings with a twist. The author was a retired Army Lt/Col from WWI who had traveled extensively in the Far East, and brought his knowledge of the East to the stories with him.

Dorus Noel works for a mysterious “Chief”, whom he has never seen. He does know the police commissioner, but none of the police know he is an undercover agent. However, all of Chinatown knows who Dorus Noel is, and though most respect him, the oriental villains fear and hate him. In each story someone is out to kill him before they start their insidious crime wave.

A great read, and thoroughly enjoyable.

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