The Super-Detective

Lester Dent has always been a favorite author of mine. I’ve got his ‘master plot generator’ to hand as I write this, and I used to adhere to it with the same fervor as other writers clung to Elmore Leonard’s oft-bandied about writing rules.  Both are useful, but Dent’s always appealed to me more. There’s a wild spontaneity there that I find appealing (SUSPENSE! MENACE! PLOT TWIST!). And of Dent’s work, it was always the Doc Savage stories that appealed to me the most. I read The Sargasso Ogre when I was twelve, and never looked back. 

They were, and are, the perfect books. At least to me. Brisk, exciting adventures, each one packing a cinematic punch–gorgeous vistas, exotic locals, dastardly villains and a hero who’s on the weird side of interesting.

With that in mind, I have a confession to make: I like writing about  Jim Anthony, Super-Detective, because it’s the closest I’ll get to writing a Doc Savage adventure.

The Super-Detective–‘half Irish, half Indian, All American!’–was originally the creation of diverse hands, built to compete with Doc Savage in the dwindling and cutthroat pulp marketplace of the early Forties, and now long since fallen into the public domain. He was a pastiche of Dent’s better known, and more popular character, with the notable difference being that Anthony liked the ladies; the Jim Anthony stories were fairly raunchy for the time, making them the R-rated version of the distinctly PG-13 Doc Savage.  If you want to read them, Altus Press have done a fine job of reprinting the originals in two volumes.

That said, you don’t have to read the original tales to enjoy mine. To date, I’ve written four short stories, a novella (“Death in Yellow”) and two novels about the character and I hope to write more, should the opportunity arise.

And despite the confession above, over the course of writing them, I grew to enjoy the character for what he was. Jim Anthony is the perfect combination of super-hero and detective (Super-Detective!), two concepts I have a great fondness for. In my own stories, I’ve pitted him against bank robbers, yetis, super-villains and secret societies and had a blast doing so.

The works in question are listed below, with links as to where you can purchase them, if you’re interested:

“Death in Yellow”

The Super-Detective races against time to uncover the secrets of the King in Yellow as yetis stalk the rooftops of New York.

“The Carolingian Stone”

On the eve of World War 2, the Super Detective battles Belphegor, the Phantom of the Louvre, to claim the mysterious Carolingian Stone.

“The Black Bat at Bay!”

The Super-Detective hunts New York’s newest vigilante–the Black Bat

“Proof of Supremacy”

The Super-Detective and Ace G-Man Dan Fowler hunt a murderous crew of masked bank robbers. 

“Nestor Burma Goes West”

Nestor Burma hunts down the retired Super-Detective on behalf of a mysterious woman. 

Jim Anthony, Super-Detective: The Mark of Terror

A full length action packed new pulp thriller by noted writer Joshua Reynolds. Half Irish, half Comanche and All American, Jim Anthony confronts modern descendants of two ancient Greek cults bent on world domination. All too soon he’s caught in the middle of their war while solving the mystery of several mysterious suicides by New York’s leading businessmen. Features nine illustrations by Isaac Nacilla and a stunning cover by painter Jeff Herndon, “The Mark of Terror” is another solid Airship 27 pulp winner not to be missed.

The New Adventures of Jim Anthony #1: The Death’s Head Cloud

A smothering fog of doom heralds a terror that leaves a pile of bloody corpses in a busy subway station! The Death’s Head Cloud strikes swiftly, snaring innocents in its foul grip, leaving madness and death in its wake! Will Jim Anthony be able to solve this mystery or will he also succumb to this terrible menace?