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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

Friday, September 29, 2017

The Case of The Missing Bubble Gum Card

The Case of The Missing Bubble Gum Card (Mystery)
By R. Weir
Independent Publishing Platform
Price $ Free
28 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Returning to his office, Private Detective Jarvis Mann finds a young man, 16-year-old Dennis Gash waiting on the steps for him. While playing after church, he had showed several of his friends his valuable bubble gum sports card, then stuck it in his back pocket and forgot about it. Upon reaching home he found the card was missing. Valued at over twelve hundred dollars, he doesn’t want to tell his father about its loss, and asks the detective to help him find.

This was an easy investigation, and Jarvis soon finds the card in a Specialty Shop, and discovers who sold it, so the case is closed, but how to handle the case is another matter.

The Jarvis Mann detective series is new, and easy reads. The author is a good writer, and relies on words instead of a lot of sew and profanity, yet offers good plots and characters, with a good mystery that will keep you interested. It could have used a better cover, however. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Sinbad And The Serpent King

Sinbad, tired and weak from another voyage, loses his way from the desert to the terrifying realm of the Jinn. Little does he know that help will come from Zian Ur, the last of the Nagans who prides himself as the Serpent King.

Sinbad And The Serpent King (Fantasy)
By Brian Barr
Independent Publishing Platform
ISBN # 978-1548423360
Price $6.00 (paperback)
24 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

Sinbad is wondering through the desert, almost dead. We don’t learn why he is here, but when he falls exhausted, he believes he’s about to die. Instead he awakes in the hands of a magician and his army of the dead. He’s completely under their control through a drug he’s given. The next time he awakes he’s in a cave with a green reptile man who claims to be ruler of the world, The Serpent King – Zian Axakil Din’amu Ur. He warns Sinbad that shadow demons surround them, and soon they are in a battle. Although we don’t get the full details, it appears the magician is intent on capturing the Serpent King through Sinbad, and after the battle, when the reptile man is weak the magician calls Sinbad back from the other dimension.

This was a fun read, with an interesting plot. Unfortunately, the story was too short to fully explain some things, and would have worked better if extended into a longer piece. However, it certainly held my interest, and I can highly recommend it to fantasy fans.

Tom Johnson


Monday, September 25, 2017

The Case of The Invisible Souls

The Case of The Invisible Souls (Mystery)
By R. Weir
Independent Publishing
Price $0.99
53 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

Private Detective Jarvis Mann of Denver returns to his office after a brief workout in the December cold of the Mile High City. Shortly there’s a knock at his door and he finds a homeless man standing there. After a few minutes debating what he should do, he lets him in. Parker Turner is an ex-Army vet down on his luck, but he’s not looking for anything for himself. Some of his friends are missing, and he wants Jarvis to find out what happened to them.

Starting his investigation at the Invisible Souls Mission, he meets a black woman named Pastor Sam (Samantha), also an ex-Army vet, who tough as nails. He learns that men have been coming to the Mission to recruit workers with the promise of money, but they never return. It’s up to Jarvis to uncover the plot, even if he has to become a homeless person himself to discover the truth.

This was a really nice story, written by a writer who can use words to tell a good story without a lot of profanity and violence. It’s almost Christmas, so we know it will end okay, even after a confrontation that leaves one of the homeless in the hospital. The kind of story we might have seen as a Christmas movie on TV back in the 1970s. For those of you, like me, who enjoys a well-written mystery without all the vulgar scenes and profanity we have today, I can highly recommend this for a family mystery.

Tom Johnson

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Fighting Crime One Dime At A Time

Fighting Crime One Dime At A Time (Hero Pulp Fiction)
By Ed Hulse
Murania Press
ISBN #978-1976273452
Price $24.95
220 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

This 8.5 x 11 inch production is a fun read, covering the hero – or single-character pulp titles that began with The Shadow in 1931 and dominated the newsstands until 1953, 22 years that saw good versus evil in literature, and good always triumphed. The heroes began after the Roaring Twenties, when readers were fed up with gangster rule, and the Depression laid low the working class in our society. Aimed at young audiences, they offered masked crime fighters who sometimes wore colorful or eclectic costumes that intrigued youthful minds. Their reign would end only after a world war, and an economy bouncing back from the abyss, and youngsters grown and looking for more mature fare. This book discusses the rise of story papers to dime novels, and eventually the pulp magazines, and finally the pulp hero. Most of it has been written before by earlier researches, but the writers involved visit the history again, in their own way, and I enjoyed every page.

Edited by Ed Hulse, who also writes the Introduction and some of the articles; we have these subjects: “The Great Transition: Story Papers and Dime Novels Yield To Pulp Magazines by Larry Latham; The Man In The Black Cloak: Did This Story Paper Character Influence The Shadow? By Joe Rainone; Reminiscences of Nick Carter: The Dime-Novel Precursor of Pulp Heroes by John Coryell; The House of Heroes: Street & Smith’s Single-Character Pulps by Ed Hulse; The Hero-Pulp Revolution Continues: Standard, Popular, Ace, and Fiction House Titles by Ed Hulse; Dithering Over Doc: Launching One of The Most Famous Hero Pulps by Will Murray; Disposable Heroes: Pulpdom’s Forgotten Crimebusters by Mark Trost; Archie Bittner and The Spider: The Case of the Missing “Master” by Will Murray; How Not To Write A Hero Pulp-Novel: Anatomy Of A Phantom Detective Outline by Mark Trost; Masked Rider of The (Pulps) Plains: A History of The Lone Ranger Magazine by Albert Tonic; The 20 Most Underrated Shadow Novels: Overlooked Entries From The Long-Running Series Chosen by Blood ‘n’ Thunder’s All-Star Panel of Judges; The Strange, Sad Story of Zarnak: The Pulp Hero Everybody Hated by Mark Trost; Three Aces In One Draw: Pulp Heroes In Comic Books by Mark Trost; Last Hurrahs: The Twilight of The Hero Pulps by Ed Hulse and Mark Trost; Appendix: Four-Color Fakery Reprinting Two Comic-Book Stories Adapted From Hero Pulps: The Mask and Major Mars.

It was nice seeing familiar names like Larry Latham and Albert Tonic in new publications once more. Their names were part of pulp fandom for many years. Will Murray and Joe Rainone have continued to be involved through the years, while Ed Hulse and Mark Trost - who began the Blood ‘n’ Thunder fan magazine in 2002 - have published ever since. Perhaps what is missing from the book are credits – there are many research books that preceded this tome that details Story Papers, Dime Novels, and the Hero Pulps, and should have been mentioned, if not credied. However, I highly recommend this book for any fan of the Pulp Heroes, be they Doc Savage fans, or Shadow fans, or any of the other heroes. It’s not only a good read, it gives insight to some of the happenings behind the scenes, and that’s always fun.

Tom Johnson


Sunday, September 17, 2017

Early Autumn Giveaway

Early Autumn Book Giveaway: Marie Lavender is offering a huge giveaway of several authors’ books on her Blog over the next few days. I am offering one print copy of TALES OF MASKS & MAYHEM V #1, and five PDF copies of it. It is under Action & Adventure. There are many more books available. Stop by and enter for free giveaways. No one has asked for my book yet (hint, hint).