Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pulp of the Week - Doc Savage #16

The King Maker - June 1934

This Doc Savage adventure was written by Harold A. Davis. It was the first not written by Lester Dent (though it is widely accepted that Dent edited it) and finds Doc and his men traveling to the Eastern European Kingdom of Calbia, where a coup is in the making. The Calbian Ambassador to the US is murdered in New York and Doc rescues the Princess Gusta LeGalbin.

He is quite taken with her. "Ordinarily, feminine beauty left the bronze man untouched, for he had schooled his tastes so carefully that they did not run in that direction. But now he stared, and his strong lips, parting a little from amazement, showed even white teeth."

When she is free, he offers her his arm and she drugs him. He is taken to Calbia by the resistance and is offered the chance to be King. Doc, of course declines.

Some interesting phrases used are "twittering" and "political prisoners."

For me, the highlight of the book is Renny getting to play the part of a boisterous American pilot named Champ Dugan. Renny plays it with gusto and gets some great scenes.

The book was good, not great, but the Renny scenes and the interplay between the Princess and Doc are very good.

I give The King Maker a 7.5 out of 10. The pulp cover is by Walter Baumhofer and the Bantam cover is by Fred Pfeiffer. The King Maker features two of my favorite Doc Savage paintings - both the original pulp cover and the Bantam cover for this book are terrific.

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