Thursday, June 17, 2010

Pulp of the Week - Doc Savage #15

May 1934 - The Mystery on the Snow

This is an interesting adventure for a number of reasons. For one, it takes a very long time - maybe 2/3rds of the novel to even find out what the mystery is about. Secondly, Lester Dent, finally gave archaeologist/geologist William Harper Littlejohn a voice. And what a phantasmically multisyllabic glorious voice it is. This is the first of the sagas to include what would become Johnny's catch phrase, "I'll be superamalgamated!"

As with the other adventurers so far there is a feisty dame, Midnat D'Avis. She is a private detective hired by a Canadian prospector to contact Doc Savage for help. A mystery man known only a Stroam. Other characters include a faux mystic and some Canadian Mounties.

One of the mysteries of The Mystery on the Snow is spoiled by the Bantam cover. But it is a minor point and so much hay is made in the story to convince us that this wasn't, couldn't possibly be the answer that we are sure it is the solution to the mystery.

The villains identity becomes clear just as we should know it, so that was satisfying. All in all, The Mystery on the Snow is a satisfying Doc Savage tale.

The pulp cover is by Walter Baumhofer and and Bantam paperback #69 has a fascinating cover, full of texture and depth, by Fred Pfeiffer. For this review, I read my Bantam paperback, first edition July, 1972 and give The Mystery on the Snow 7.5 out of 10.


Ghostsoldier said...

That cover is one of my favorite Fred Pfeiffer works....

Fred Pfeiffer Artist said...

Fred Pfeiffer was one of my favorites.
this Doc Cover is one of my favorites by him. King Maker is another one.

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