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04 March 2009 @ 10:03 pm
You think you have problems  
How DID she get into this situation? And what's going to happen next? If you were standing at the newsstand in 1935, you could have dug in your pocket for a coin to give the dealer and started reading.

Robert Leslie Bellem is one of my favorite of the lesser-known pulp writers. He hasn't had the wholesale revival that Robert E Howard or HP Lovecraft enjoyed, and he didn't create a character who would be reprinted for mass popularity (as Lester Dent or Walter Gibson did). Bellem is best remembered by mystery fans for his Dan Turner stories. Once again, let me refer you to DR HERMES REVIEWS for discussion of the character and some of his better tales.
Dan Turner was a private eye who worked in Hollywood during the 1930s and 1940s. His yarns are perfectly good little hard-boiled mysteries, but it's his distinctive slang that made them stand out.

The whole "Spicy" line of pulps seems tame today, where a few clicks will send more harcore porn spilling out of your computer than you would be able to watch in a lifetime. Any actual sex took place offstage or between paragraphs. The real steamy aspect was the lovingly detailed descriptions of the female characters and the way the heroes took advantage of the pre-sexual harassment lawsuit era to cop a feel whenever they had a chance.