Out of fog-bound Washington, D.C., much as the dark London streets of Sax Rohmer's Fu Manchu novels, comes a creature of consumate evil - Dr. Yen Sin. This sinister head of an international spy network known as the Invisible Empire is a master of the cunning art of diabolical death. Battling him and his fiendish devices, such as death rays and blow guns, is Michael Traile, who works with the cooperation of the federal government. Only three issues of this magazine were published.
Table of Contents:
"A Thrilling Complete Novel of Oriental Menace, The Mystery of the Golden Skull" by Donald E. Keyhoe - Moving east from the ration's capitol at Washington, Dr. Yen Sin, saffron-skinned scourge of the Orient, sets up his hell-base in New York and under the banner of the Golden Skull, once again locks horns with Michael Traile, the Man Who Never Sleeps, and his partner Eric Gordon. What is the ghastly doom he brings with him to turn living men to rainbow-colored dust? Why should the flowers in his corpse garden have their heads removed, only to be sewed on again - backwards - by the surgeon mandarin?
"The Third Yen - A Chinatown Crime Thriller" by Moran Tudury - It was only a worthless copper coin with a square hole plugged through its center, but it proved the means of saving "Solo" Smith, F. B. I. dick, from a hatchet-death in Chinatown's shadowy underworld.
"Chinatown Scoop - A Chinatown Crime Thriller" by Don Cameron - Bill Branton had promised old One-Eye a diet of humming birds' wings for the rest of his nine natural lives - if he got him out of the rat-trap Li Quon had baited for him that night in Chinatown. It was just a tough break the four-footed warrior couldn't live to enjoy his feast - but even alley cats can't expect to live forever.
"Death of a Thousand Cuts - A Chinatown Crime Thriller" by Arden X. Pangborn - Lieutenant Hoag of Homicide had an idea that Chang Wo was trying to put something over on him - which was perfectly true. What the copper didn't realize was that the trick the old Chinese had up his sleeve had nothing to do with the case as Hoag knew it, and was better than any third degree ever conferred in the back room of the precinct house.
Will Murray's Pulp Classics line of audiobooks are of the highest quality and feature the great Pulp Fiction stories of the 1930s-1950s.
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This book is a bit too heavy on the "Yellow Menace" storyline for me. Much as I love Pulp Novels of the 30's, this one relies too heavily on the Chinese stereotypes of that time to make it accessible to today's audience. The last story in the collection does go some to redeem a few of the stereotypes by making the lead Chinese character the hero, as opposed to the villains portrayed in the other 4 stories in the book.
The narration of the first story is so over the top it becomes a chore to listen to from time to time. Otherwise the narrators are very serviceable.
It would be a serial on Saturday afternoon before a Universal horror movie, and, yeah, I'd see it.
- Mark S. Traub