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, February 27, 2017

The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale

The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale by Frank L. Packard (340 Pages), 1919. The first three chapters (1, 2 & 3) are really one arc. With Larry the Bat supposedly killed in the last adventure, six months ago, Jimmie Dale has created a new underworld identity, that of Smarlinghue, a drug addict artist down on his luck and living in the badlands. Marie LaSalle has stopped contact, as she’s still afraid for her life, and Jimmie can’t find her. One night Officer Clancy of headquarters breaks into Smarlinghue’s run-down studio, and threatens him, He wants Smarlinghue to listen in on certain crooks and report back to him – a stool pigeon! After Clancy leaves there is an envelope beneath his door, and Jimmy finds another letter from Tocsin. Now he knows Marie is still around, and probably hiding out in the underworld. He’s instructed to, basically, follow Clancy’s orders and listen in on a meeting, but something else is going on that Clancy wasn’t aware of. With this arc the police and underworld discover that the Gray Seal is still alive and up to his old tricks.
Chapters four and five are the next arc. A thief steals a diamond pendant from the home of an elderly couple and bargains it to others who fight over it. But there is more to the theft than meets the eye, and Tocsin has given Jimmie all the data. Now he must take back the pendant, and see that it is returned.
The next three chapters (6, 7 & 8) is another arc. Jimmie returns as Larry the Bat and finds the Magpie murdered, with a gray seal on his toes. He learns from Tocsin that there is also a theft of bonds tied to the murder and detective Meighan is closing in on the Gray Seal.
Chapter nine and ten is the next arc. The Wolf, a Bad Lands killer has murdered his pal, Spider Webb, and is after his hidden jewels. A note from Tocsin tells Jimmie there is more at stake, and Jimmie beats the mobster to the hideout, only to be wounded and trailed to his Sanctuary, where Wolf grabs the jewels. But Jimmie has other things Wolf is unaware of.
In the next three chapters (11, 12 & 13), Jimmy Dale, pretending to be in an opium dream in Foo Sen’s opium parlor, overhears two crooks talking about fifteen thousand dollars being placed in a private after hours bank that would be easily stolen. Returning to his Sanctuary he finds that Tocsin has been there and left new instructions for the Gray Seal. She all ready knows about the money and theft, but she has it different, as to the identity of the crooks. As usual, Tocsin is right, though Jimmie is, too. There is only a slight change to the plans.
Chapter 14 & 15 has a neat little plot. Jimmie learns from Tocsin that the District Attorney’s son has been set up in order for the gang known as The Private Club Ring to stop the D.A. from investigating their criminal activities. Supposedly caught robbing a safe to repay money he’s lost, and a letter that could mean he had planned the robbery is all set up nicely. The boy will be prosecuted unless the Gray Seal can stop the set up.
 With Chapter 16, 17 & 18, Jimmie receives a call from an old acquaintance who is now in charge of another bank. He needs help. But when Jimmie arrives at his home, the banker is dead, a possible suicide. There is a note, but the suicide is false.  An English forger has written the note and forged his signature, as well as forged signatures on bonds.
Chapters 19, 20, 21 leads Jimmie to another murder, but the murder sets Larry the Bat up, as he’s led to believe the Tocsin has been captured. Instead, it’s the murderer disguised as Silver Mag, captured and waiting for Larry the Bat to rescue her. It’s all been a set up.
In Chapter 22, 23 & 24, Jimmie learns the details of the Tocsin’s story. He learns that one of the remaining men from The Crime Club is lawyer, Peter Marre, and he’s disappeared while working behind the scenes to kill Tocsin and the Gray Seal. There’s been another murder at a bank, and Hunchback Joe has something to do with it. Jimmie follows the trail, unearthing the clues and finally facing the ugly hunchback in a final confrontation that reveals his true identity.
The story ends with Jimmie and Marie locked in a long embrace. The stories were fun, but terribly outdated. Still, to learn the influence of the later pulp heroes like The Spider, The Shadow, The Phantom Detective, and all of Johnston McCulley’s coming costumed heroes, you need to read the Jimmie Dale adventures, for these were the blueprints. Happy reading.

Tom Johnson



  1. Another good review, Tom. I'm going to post a link over at the Gray Seal Facebook page again. Two down and three to go!


  2. Thanks, Michael. I will probably take a break from Jimmie Dale till April, and catch up on some other stuff. Although the next one does look interesting (LOL).