Tag Archives: vintage pulp fiction

Pulp Friday: Headed for a Hearse

“His address was Death Row and his lease was up in six days… “

They don’t write cover blurbs like that any more.

Today’s Pulp Friday contribution is the 1960 UK Pan edition of the 1935 novel, Headed for a Hearse, by Jonathan Latimer.

Latimer was a crime reporter for newspapers in his native Chicago before going on to write a series of hard-boiled novels. He also worked in Hollywood where he wrote a number of screenplays, including The Glass Key (1942), The Big Clock (1948) and Nocturne (1946).

My parents had a good collection of Pan paperbacks on their bookshelf and I can remember, even as a very small child, being fascinated by the fantastic cover art.

The story sounds good, too.

“SIX DAYS to go before Westland would go to the electric chair for the murder of his wife…

SIX DAYS for him to sweat in the death cell – with a gangster and a fiend for company.

SIX DAYS for private investigator William Crane to flirt with death and to find the real killer…”


 … Read more

Executives behaving badly: sixties Australian pulp part 2

High-flying corporate executives behaving badly were a staple of Australian pulp fiction in the sixties.

Coming off the drab post-World War Two austerity of the fifties, readers devoured tales of power hungry businessmen, international travel, fat expense accounts and modern, high tech business practices, mixed with organised crime, boozy parties and infidelity.

The following selection – sourced from my collection – mainly features local versions of books originally published in the US by Beacon Press.They were reprinted locally by an anonymous outfit called Magazine Services, Pty, Ltd, based in Sydney and Melbourne.

Most of the following titles don’t include the date they were republished.

The only indigenous effort, Mile Pegs, was written by political journalist, Don Whitington, who went onto be a celebrated author and biographer. Mile Pegs the story of a “King Hit” Seager who built an outback coaching venture into one of Australia’s biggest airlines while “Mercilessly disregarding the rights and feelings of the woman he loved, his illegitimate son, his colleagues and everyone who stood in his path”.

See Me Tonight! by Lee Richards is a rip off of a 1963 pulp called the Sexecutives. Subtle as a sledgehammer. The story of “high-power executives who stop at nothing to get their way – and of women who cooperate”, it bills itself as a “revealing book of today’s executive and the temptations put in his way”.… Read more