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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

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Doctor Death

Fiend of diabolic genius, Doctor Death, whose calling card was a death warrant, he--and you--meet for the first time Nibs Holloway, baffling "front man" for a jewelry king, whose specialty was crime. A facsimile reprint of the All Detective Magazine Doctor Death stories.

Doctor Death (Pulp Mystery)
By Edward P. Norris
Pulp Tales Press
ISBN #978-1449545130
Price $12.95 (paperback)
150 Pages
Rating 5-Stars

There is a lot of Dime Novel Nick Carter in Nibs Holloway. He is a master of disguise, lightening fast on the draw, and tough as nails. There are five stories in this volume, reprinting the stories that appeared in ALL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. Doctor Death, July 1934; A Deal In Phonies, August 1934; Cargo of Death, September 1934; Death’s IOU, October 1934; and 13 Pearls, January 1935. The five stories follow Holloway as he takes orders from his boss, jewel king, Joseph Calweiner. There was a previous story featuring Nibs Holloway published in RAPID FIRE DETECTIVE, plus another one promised, but didn’t appear. However, this book concerns these five stories from ALL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. In the first story we are introduced to the villain, Doctor Death, but he’s killed at the end of the story. In the second story Nibs Holloway is back, this time with a simple mystery and new villain. But suddenly, in the third, a fourth, and fifth novel, Doctor Death is back. My guess is the author truly killed him off in the first story, but the editors wanted more Doctor Death stories, so Norris had to bring him back. And each time he is killed, only to return again and again.

Personally, I thought Nibs Holloway was a fantastic character, and enjoyed the author’s writing, even if it did appear to be written to formula and a throwback to dime novels. The series takes on a new oddity after the fifth story. The short stories ceased, and Edward P. Norris disappeared from ALL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. A new Doctor Death is created, with a new hero to fight him in three published novels, and one unpublished yarn. The new author was Harold Ward, and I missed Nibs Holloway and Edward P. Norris.

The story gets stranger still. There are six more stories by Norris in several other pulp houses after he leaves ALL DETECTIVE MAGAZINE. I read his very next published story after the last one in this volume, published in SECRET AGENT X, and it was definitely a re-written Nibs Holloway yarn, minus Doctor Death, just the names of the characters are changed. The author only had a small body of work in the pulps, and I would love to see PULP TALES PRESS gather the rest of his work in a second volume. Highly recommended.

Tom Johnson

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