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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

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Killer's Law

Killer’s Law (Murder Mystery)
By L. Ron Hubbard
ISBN #978-1592122875
Price $9.95
136 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

“A fast-Paced Fun Read.”

This short story collection contains four short mystery stories from the era of the pulp magazines. The first story, KILLER’S LAW, was published in the September 1947 issue of NEW DEDECTIVE MAGAZINE. This collection also contains THEY KILLED HIM DEAD, the THE MAD DOG MURDER, and THE BLOW TORCH MURDER.

In KILLER’S LAW, Sheriff Kyle arrives in Washington D.C. from Deadeye, Navada, with paperwork against a certain criminal being investigated by Senator Morran. Bur upon reaching the senator’s apartment, he’s knocked out and the paperwork stolen. Upon waking up, he finds him surrounded by local police and charged with the murder of the senator. His knife is sticking in the senator’s chest. He escapes from custody and switching clothes with a bum, conducts his own investigation of the people involved, and comes up with the killer.

In THEY KILLED HIM DEAD, “Careful” Cassidy of the homicide squad hears a shot just before turning the corner of a sidewalk, and spots a man holding a smoking gun, and a dead man prone on the pavement. Figuring he had the murderer at the scene, he arrest the fella and calls for the Black Maria (paddy wagon). At the police station, the coroner tell him the man didn’t die from the gunshot, he died from stab wounds by a knife. So Cassidy follows this new lead back to the scene, where he discovers a path of blood. Following the blood leads him to Greek cook who admits killing the man after he attacked him from behind. Once more the Black Maria and another murderer taken to a cell. But the coroner drops another bomb on Cassidy; the knife didn’t kill the man, either. His spine was broken. That must have killed him. By now Cassidy is becoming the laughing stock of the police station, but off he goes again to look for another clue, this time back to the Greek café. Spying the wall behind the café, where the man must have fallen on the cook, Cassidy climbs up and sees a rooming house next door. Venturing there, he finds a nervous janitor, and with a little persuasion, gets a confession. The janitor found the man on the bench where he shouldn’t be, and pushed him. Finding him dead, he panics and tosses him over the wall. Cassidy doesn’t like his story, so a call for the Black Maria. Back at headquarters, the coroner once again tells Cassidy he was wrong, and he choked to death on a ring. Cassidy already figured the guy was a thief, so he examined the dead man’s property and finds a woman’s pocket book with a name and address. Once more he heads for the house of another suspect. This time finding a man and woman who quickly admit killing the thief. Another ride to headquarters in the Black Maria. Will Careful Cassidy finally unravel this puzzle, and find a murderer in the mix, or will his reputation be forever ruined on this strange killing?

In THE MAD DOG MURDER, Patrolmen Tommy Farrell and Butch Harmon receive a call about a mad dog. Upon arriving at the hotel, they find a dog foaming at the mouth, and an elderly man with tooth marks in his hand where the dog had bit him. The elderly gentleman dies from rabies at the hospital. But Tommy, wanting to become a detective, doesn’t like the scenario, and has the dog tested for rabies and does his own investigation. It helps that the owner of the dog is a beautiful young girl, of course. Using a little trick he learned, he brings a murderer to light.

The final story is THE BLOW TORCH MURDER. Weasel Martin, Chink Edwards, Papa Johnson, and Joey the Mick, walk into police headquarter and each report committing a crime, and are stuck in a cell. At a certain time a lawyer, not their own, arrives to force their release. The next day their real lawyer is found murdered, supposedly by a blowtorch stuck inside his throat. The coroner claims the autopsy proves the time of death was during the four men’s incarceration. But Detective Ham Logan thinks the victim’s watch might tell a different story.

These four short stories were well written, and great fun, though my favorite of the four was THEY KILLED HIM DEAD. Each story was fast-paced, had an interesting plot and characters, and kept me turning the pages. Highly recommended to readers who love good mysteries with a twist.

Tom Johnson

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