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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

Sunday, January 28, 2018

The Velvet Wasp

Noted author H. David Blalock enters the world of New Pulp and masked heroes with THE VELVET WASP, a brand new collection of short stories featuring his own original Pulp Heroine! A nightclub entertainer named Adele Fornost has been found dead, an apparent suicide. Her friend, another entertainer named Diane Green, is convinced that she was murdered and that the Outlander Mob is behind it. Known for racketeering, prostitution, and money laundering, the Outlanders are run by a man known only as Sir. Diane is unable to convince the police to take on the case and decides to take matters into her own hands. Although she is able to get the goods on the Oultlanders, she has to fake her own death to do it. Thus, Diane Green dies, but the Velvet Wasp is born to take flight in four adventures, courtesy of H. David Blalock and Pro Se Productions.

The Velvet Wasp (New Pulp Fiction)
By H. David Blalock
Pro Se Press
ISBN #978-1979273268
Price $14.99 (Paperback)
Price $2.99 (Kindle)
159 Pages
Rating 4-Stars

There are four stories in this volume, running from 1927 to 1934: O Death, Where Is Thy Sting; Stinging Nettle Tea; The Sting of The Saboteur; and The Sting of The Lash. In the first story Diane Green is singing at the Angel Club in Olympus City under the stage name of Charlene. Her roommate is murdered and Diane finds diamonds hidden in Adele’s powder compact, she discovers that the local mob, The Outlanders are behind the murder. With the aide of her boss, the owner of the Angel Club, Walter Evanston, she becomes the Velvet Wasp. In the following stories she and Walt pair up to hunt down killers or solve a murder or crime.

The story was well written despite a few minor editing problems, mostly missing words. The Velvet Wasp grows a little with each story, but that did make the early stories a bit slow. We don’t really see her grow, she just does. We’re told she studied jiu-jitsu and karate, and learned pressure points in order to put people to sleep. But these were all behind the scenes. Men in high city political positions run the Outlanders Mob, but I think the author could have come up with a better sobriquet for the leader than just, Sir. Still, I liked the characters, and the Velvet Wasp reminded me a bit of Domino Lady. Since she was a singer, I kept expecting the Velvet Wasp to use that talent to create a buzz as she enters a room to frighten the crooks, but this never happened, and I was a little disappointed. I do highly recommend this book for those looking for new pulp heroines. I certainly liked The Velvet Wasp.

Tom Johnson

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