The Unorthodox Corpse: The Detective’s Blazon vs. Female Autonomy

The detective novels penned by Alan Geoffrey Yates under the pseudonym Carter Brown offer a descriptive approach as to how women were viewed in sexual terms during the mid-20th century. His novel The Unorthodox Corpse is no exception.  In it, he employs the detective-era blazon, which catalogues a woman’s physical attributes like a traditional sonnet, […]

Michael Brett’s Slit My Throat Gently: Social Issues and Metafiction In Pulp-Era Detective Novels

  Michael Brett’s Slit My Throat Gently will never be remembered as a masterpiece of detective fiction, and in fact may never even be in publication again, but the work remains a joy to read as Brett manages to do what the finest detective novelists often accomplish by creating an entertaining narrative that uncovers an […]

Carter Brown’s Play Now… Kill Later: The Existentialist Detective Novel

  As is the case with most Carter Brown novels, Play Now… Kill Later is a template of pulp era detective fiction.  It is filled with titillating women, each peered at through the male gaze, has an androcentric perspective, and follows a private eye as he unravels a mystery in which everybody is lying about […]

Carter Brown’s The Mini-Murders: Homophobia, The Male Gaze, and the Police State

  When browsing through the covers of pulp-era detective novels, especially those by Carter Brown, it’s difficult to see the hypersexualized covers and believe that any of them could be ‘progressive’ outside of a hedonistic libertarian angle, and when one reads the pages there within, and gets a glimpses at the androcentric, heteronormative, and chauvinistic […]

William Ard’s The Diary: The Libertarian Detective Novel

  William Ard tragically died of cancer at a young age, but before he did, he shared his talents with the world.  As one of the more popular writers of pulp fiction during the 50’s, he penned more than thirty novels in ten years.  Among the prolific author’s most endearing characters is Timothy Dane, a […]

Feminism, Metafiction, and the Panopticon in Green Light For Death, by Frank Kane

  Frank Kane was one of the many prolific authors during the pulp era, and in 1944, he introduced the world to private detective Johnny Liddell.  Kane would go onto write over thirty novels featuring his famous detective, and though he never reached the print count of peers like Carter Brown, he still managed a […]

Honey In His Mouth: Misogyny in Crime Fiction

    Lester Dent was a fiction writer during the golden age of the pulp era and wrote over a hundred novels during his career before passing away in his 55th year.  He was most famous for his character ‘Doc Savage’, who, according to Wiki, was a ‘superhuman scientist and adventurer’.  But given that I am […]

Sydney Horler’s The Cage: Xenophobic Sexploitation

Author Sydney Horler worked as a newspaper man on Fleet Street during the early days of his career, and when WWI came around, he also worked for propaganda section of Air Intelligence (Wiki).  After the war and into the twilight of his career, Horler was a successful novelist who wrote popular pulp-era thrillers, some of […]

Murder Is My Business: Pulp Fiction vs. Capitalism

Just as Alan Geoffrey Yates wrote detective fiction under the name Carter Brown, Davis Dresser wrote under the pen name Brett Halliday to create the popular private detective Michael Shayne.  The character proved popular enough to warrant film series that included seven motion pictures from Twentieth Century Fox starring Lloyd Nolan, four low-budget films, a […]

The Mistress, by Carter Brown: The Media and Murder

  The Mistress fits the mould of a typical Carter Brown novel.  It is peppered with the male gaze, crime, sex, mystery and intrigue, and most especially, beautiful, voluptuous, vivacious and curvaceous woman, all of whom are dressed provocatively.  One might assume that in reading one such novel, one has ‘read them all’, but Brown […]