UNNATURAL by Sloane Britain aka Sloan Britton

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A vivid novel of forbidden love, a lesbian pulp fiction classic, back-in-print after sixty long years

Allison loved Lydia. She loved her so much that sometimes she thought it was wrong. She felt that there must be something sinful about a love so strong it blotted out everything else. Lydia was Allison’s whole life… until one night, when she went to a wild, bohemian party and met Cal Staton. He certainly seemed interested… and everyone was always telling her to settle down… but Cal Staton was a man, and men had hurt her so much. Perhaps she would be better off staying with Lydia, who turned the world away when she took her in her arms. Lydia, who could make her melt with a glance… and climb to the peaks of ecstasy with just a caress…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sloane Britain aka Sloan Britton was the pseudonym of Elaine Williams, aka Elaine H. Cumming (1932-1963), who was an editor at Midwood-Tower and a ground-breaking author of lesbian pulp fiction. She was killed in a car accident in Red Hook, NY on December 23, 1963, after attending a party. She left behind behind a husband and four children.

THE BEST PULP NOIR FICTION VOLUME SIX: Four Hard-Boiled Novels

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Four complete novels of raw, hard-boiled, pulp noir greatness by four masters of the genre, back-in-print for the first time in sixty years.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER by Ovid Demaris * BEYOND DESIRE by Richard Himmel * FRISCO FLAT by Stuart James * BRUTE MADNESS by Ledru Baker, Jr.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER
The East Coast mob has moved to Los Angeles and nobody seems willing to stand up to their campaign of terror. But that changes when a young teacher out shopping for groceries witnesses a brutal mob murder, identifies the killers for the police, and is immediately targeted for death. It’s one ordinary man with integrity up against mobsters without a soul. He doesn’t stand a chance… or does he? This book was adapted into the 1958 movie Gang War starring Charles Bronson.

“This is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for..” NB Magazine UK

BEYOND DESIRE
Clarissa…in her arms, Peter achieved manhood. She taught him that to love too many women was to love none at all. He was obsessed with her, drugged by her warmth and willingness. By now, he was ready to kill himself and her if she refused him…

“Decidedly off-beat but nonetheless absorbing. Himmel makes a most unusual story convincing. He should rake’em in.” Pensacola News-Journal

FRISCO FLAT
When his father is beaten-to-death, Korean War vet and ex-prize fighter Frankie Cargo returns to his home in the small, northern California waterfront town of Frisco Flat. Cargo has inherited his father’s fishing boat business and trouble from Sam Barlow, the vicious local cannery owner who rules the town with fear…and with the iron fist of the psychopathic and corrupt Sheriff. If that wasn’t bad enough, Barlow gets involved with the Sheriff’s lover, the voluptuous Tosca Sorrento, who wants more than any man can give. But Barlow won’t be pushed…and never backs down from a fight.

“Pretty darned good. Frisco Flat moves along well. The book is a little better written, a little more literary in places, than many of the hard-boiled novels from that era,” James Reasoner, author of Texas Wind

BRUTE MADNESS
A wild, hard-boiled, pulp novel that will leave you breathless. Once the action starts, it doesn’t let up. Mark Mitchell is a playboy atomic rocket scientist who marries the wrong woman…and is betrayed in the worst possible way. He is quickly arrested, convicted of treason, and sentenced to life in prison. But that’s only the beginning of his nightmare in this lightning-fast, insanely unpredictable, brutal Cold War noir thriller. 

ROOT OF EVIL by James Cross (Hugh J. Parry)

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An Edgar Award Winner for Best First Novel

Jim McCabe was just another ex-GI trying to scribble a living as a writer in Hollywood until he discovers a chest of century-old gold coins buried in his backyard…and decides to keep it, smuggle the coins to Europe, and sell them for a fortune. But there are plenty of people who want to take his treasure from him and are willing to kill the people he loves to do it in this chilling tale of lust, greed and murder..

“A fast-paced, hot-breathing tale…amazingly credible.” Bestseller Magazine

“Vividly realistic.” Sydney Morning Herald

“Thrilling, mystifying and suspenseful to the very end.” New York Morning Telegraph

“A tough thriller that starts on a hot California afternoon and ends in a savage, sadistic grudge fight in a ruined castle on the Rhine.” The Observer (London)

“Six deaths and a great deal of anguish provide the title as well as a read-it-at-one-sitting chiller.” Fort Worth Star-Telegram

“A fast-moving tale of intrigue, murder and extortion told in a snappy, hardboiled style.”Pulpetti

“James Cross” was the pseudonym of Hugh J. Parry (1916-1997), a career U.S. Information Agency officer who had a PhD in sociology, was fluent in many languages, and wrote novels in multiple genres…as well as book reviews and essays on foreign relations under his own name.

THE RICH AND THE DAMNED by Richard Himmel

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The fourth Johnny Maguire Adventure

Two-fisted lawyer Johnny Maguire is caught in the middle when a wealthy industrialist dies and leaves him in charge of executing the inheritance… which his dead client’s four children are desperate to grab. The children include the industrial’s two daughters, one of whom has shared Johnny’s bed and another who would like to. Meanwhile, a mobster is eager to take-over the dead man’s business…even if it means killing.

THE CHINESE KEYHOLE by Richard Himmel

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Was the big blonde a willing victim to the sadist with the whip, or did she hold the key to the Communist spyring? Johnny had to know.

Johnny Maguire hadn’t visited Chinatown in a long time, and now he wasn’t there for the tourist attactions. Not that the Chinese Keyhole didn’t have plenty to offer -if you liked that sort of thin. Behind its pseudo-Oriental facade, the strip-club provided unusual entertainment for its off-beat clientele…and the performers were weirder than those who paid to watch them. There was the statuesque blonde dancer for instance. She left nothing to the imagination of her audience, and she was beautiful: but she just wasn’t Johnny’s type. And he wasn’t crazy about her partner, either-the muscular but mincing ballet dancer who carried a vicious-looking whip and didn’t hesitate to use it.

But it was all in a day’s work . Somewhere amongst the lust, sadism, and brutality there was the key to a Communist spy ring. And Johnny had to find it…

KILLER TAKE ALL & JOHNNY COME DEADLY by Philip Race (E.M. Parsons)

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They call him Johnny Berlin and he had an instinct for cards… for trouble…and for women.

KILLER TAKE ALL

Johnny had dealt cards at all the biggest tables in Reno and Vegas. He’d told the head of the gambling syn­dicate to go to hell–and repeated the message to his hired killers. He’d had women throwing themselves at him at every turn… and he loved it. That was Johnny Berlin. Who would have thought he’d find the dice loaded against him in a peanut-sized town off a back road in northern California? Who would have thought he’d fall for a nice girl? And who would have thought he’d risk his life for her? Nobody–least of all Johnny Berlin himself.

On his way from San Francisco, Johnny gets lost in the fog while driving the costal route to Portland, Oregon. Stopping to get directions from a stranger turns out to be deadly, when that stranger—a dangerous racketeer—turns up dead… and Johnny is pegged as the killer. Now it’ll take all his smarts and toughness to save himself and the woman he loves.

JOHNNY COME DEADLY

Johnny was a crap game hustler, but when he blew into town they pegged him wrong. The cops said, ‘Killer,’ and slugged him simple. ‘Lover,’ the rich gal said, and got him even worse mixed up. Next came the ex-striptease queen with the heart of gold or pewter, and the Happiness Boys from the Syndicate…

All Johnny had going for him was a fast pair of legs, a faster set of wits, and just maybe, the one female around who could be counted on to win it or lose it for keeps. A fickle broad named Lady Luck.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Elmer Merle Parsons was born in Pittsburgh, PA in 1926. In 1949, when he was 23 years old, he was convicted of burglary and grand theft for stealing a car from a Phoenix used car lot and leading police on a wild chase that ended in a crash. He served three years in Chino State Prison…but didn’t stay free for long. In 1955, he was arrested in Pasadena, CA for passing 22 stolen checks, which he told the court he needed to “tide him over” while awaiting money for a script he claimed he’d sold and because he couldn’t get a job due to his prison record. He was sentenced to five years in prison, which he served at San Quentin, where he became editor of the prison newspaper and sold his first novel, “Self Made Widow,” to Fawcett for $3500 advance under the pen-name “Philip Race.” He wrote wrote & published two more novels, “Killer Take All” and “Johnny Come Deadly,” under his pen name. After his release in 1960, he wrote one novel (“Dark of Summer”) and several westerns under his own name and also contributed scripts for many TV series, including Sea Hunt, Cheyenne, Ripcord, Bonanza, The Dakotas, The Virginian and Flipper.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER by Ovid Demaris

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The East Coast mob has moved to Los Angeles and nobody seems willing to stand up to their campaign of terror. But that changes when a young teacher out shopping for groceries witnesses a brutal mob murder, identifies the killers for the police, and is immediately targeted for death. It’s one ordinary man with integrity up against mobsters without a soul. He doesn’t stand a chance… or does he?

This book was adapted into the 1958 movie Gang War starring Charles Bronson.

“Published in 1957, this crime story still has the power to shock. Even now this kind of nakedly nihilistic thriller isn’t common, this is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for. Brutal and doom laden, this vision of the world as it really is makes your heart race while your mind rages at the unfairness of life. It’s clear from this novel that Demaris is a writer of real talent, this polished thriller is as good as pulp fiction gets.” NB Magazine UK

THE LONG NIGHT by Ovid Demaris

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Vince Slader is an ex-cop-turned-PI who is hired by a casino to hunt down a gambler with a $28,000 tab in return for a percentage of the debt. It seems like a straight-forward job until Slader winds up framed for murder. As if that isn’t bad enough, he becomes a target of hard-charging politicians and the West Coast mafia.

“An enjoyable 1950s crime-fiction novel that retains most of the flavor of the genre’s mid-century pioneers. If you are a fan of authors like Frank Kane and Mickey Spillane, The Long Night is sure to please. Demaris saturates the prose with gunplay, fast cars and sexy women. The criminals are edgy, but the hero is a valid, uncompromising tough guy who serves as the perfect crime combatant.” The Paperback Warrior

RIDE THE GOLD MARE by Ovid Demaris

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“Didn’t someone say that life in the early Middle Ages was ‘nasty, brutish, and short’? That’s a pretty good description of this book. Demaris was good.” Bill Crider, award-winning writer of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels.

Corrupt LAPD cop Vince Fusco crosses a big line when he executes a drug dealer for his drugs and his woman…but things get worse when he realizes there were witnesses. Now he’s violently raging through the sordid alleys and back streets of L.A.’s drug culture, searching for the witnesses and a big shipment of heroin, aka horse, aka the gold mare. The only one standing in Fusco’s way is a lowly reporter on the crime beat…a guy who has more bourbon than blood running through his veins… chasing a story that could be his final byline.

CALIFORNIA CRIME: FOUR COMPLETE NOVELS by Ovid Demaris

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Four brutal, hard-charging crime novels set in Los Angeles in the late 1950s… when the East Coast mob was making a big move to the West Coast and leaving a trail of bodies and blood in their wake…. by international bestselling author Ovid Demaris, an expert on organized crime.

“Demaris is a writer of real talent…as good as pulp fiction gets.” NB Magazine UK

“Whoever said crime doesn’t pay has never spoken to Ovid Demaris.” New York Times

RIDE THE GOLD MARE

Corrupt LAPD cop Vince Fusco crosses a big line when he executes a drug dealer for his drugs and his woman…but things get worse when he realizes there might have been witnesses. Now he’s violently raging through the sordid alleys and back streets of L.A.’s drug culture, searching for the witnesses and a big heroin shipment. The only one standing in Fusco’s way is a lowly reporter on the crime beat…a guy who has more bourbon than blood running through his veins… chasing a story that could be his final byline.

“Didn’t someone say that life in the early Middle Ages was ‘nasty, brutish, and short’? That’s a pretty good description of this book. Demaris was good.” Bill Crider, award-winning writer of the Sheriff Dan Rhodes novels.

THE HOODS TAKE OVER

The East Coast mob has moved to Los Angeles and nobody seems willing to stand up to their campaign of terror. But that changes when a young teacher out shopping for groceries witnesses a brutal mob murder, identifies the killers for the police, and is immediately targeted for death. It’s one ordinary man with integrity up against mobsters without a soul. He doesn’t stand a chance… or does he?

This book was adapted into the 1958 movie Gang War starring Charles Bronson.

“Published in 1957, this crime story still has the power to shock. Even now this kind of nakedly nihilistic thriller isn’t common, this is the kind of novel the term ‘Noir’ was coined for. Brutal and doom laden, this vision of the world as it really is makes your heart race while your mind rages at the unfairness of life.” NB Magazine UK

THE LONG NIGHT

Vince Slader is an ex-cop-turned-PI who is hired by a casino to hunt down a gambler with a $28,000 tab in return for a percentage of the debt. It seems like a straight-forward job until Slader winds up framed for murder. As if that isn’t bad enough, he becomes a target of hard-charging politicians and the West Coast mafia.

THE ENFORCER

When someone needs bribing, beating or killing, the L.A. mob sends The Enforcer to do the job. He drives the flashiest cars, he wears the most expensive clothes, and he beds the hottest women. He has the connections and the money to buy just about anything… or anyone…that he wants.

But now The Enforcer is being hunted… by a young, ambitious cop. The Enforcer knows there’s only one way this can end…with one of them in a grave. That’s fine with him.