171n 05/46 Death is a Round Black Spot

Chuck Welch
May 17, 2006 - 1946 / Bantam 169-180 / clark / degrouchy / larkin / needs / novel / pulp

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Doc is summoned to a small Missouri town where violent death is a way of life — and a black spot marks the next victim!

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  1. Thomas Fortenberry says:

    Death is around Patricia Savage. Those Savages sure led exciting lives, because every time they turn around they trip over a corpse.

    In this book it is no different. Though here again we have the very common pulp title (was it a fad that all pulps used the black spot, round hole image of death as often as possible?), you have to love our favorite bronzy bombshell in action. Pat is a determined, self-made heroine when she wants to be. Very worthy of being Doc’s relative. In fact, Doc even thinks this during the adventure, knowing that Pat is out to scoop this case, he thinks she’s not my cousin for nothing.

    That said this is one of those shorter, lesser adventures Despite the fact that at times it uses over-the-top purple prose, with cadaverous light, no less, this book generally misses out. It can be compared to a scene in the book: Doc is drinking a milk shake. See, this is a milkshake, not a beer or a whiskey, nor even a little stimulant like coffee or soda. Just a milkshake.

    The major action here is with Pat and her trying to convince Doc to let her join the gang. She has qualifications galore and can beat most men, but good old fashioned Doc just insists on no women. His life is just too dangerous for them. Pat is out to prove him wrong. But she screams and falls dowen stairs in one part and then later Pat has to go and faint. What is she trying to do, give Doc ammunition?

    And then there is the watchman. The creepy, nasty watchman who likes “spicy” women (is this a blatant allusion to that other pulp?). This guy stares at Pat and enjoys her leg show when she is around him. Bastard! Man oh man, these are the times you wish Monk had been there to twist this guy into a pretzel. But, I guess this is all part of the Pat is beautiful but not a part of the gang motif.

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