Monday, May 05, 2014

Frank Struan's other stories from Tit-Bits Books

Remember I wrote about Frank Struan's private eye booklet Murder's So Unpleasant? It was published in the Tit-Bits Books paperback series in 1954 and translated in Finnish some ten years later. The story features one Johnny July, and I got to thinking he might warrant an entry in the Thrilling Detective site, but I've now browsed through (note: not read!) Frank Struan's other translated titles and none have Johnny July in the lead. Of course there's a possibility that Struan has more stories that were not translated in Finnish.

Struan has another series character, though. His stories Tunnel of Nightmare, Ruthless Enemy and Fall Guy, all from Tit-Bits Books and from 1954, are spy stories about a British counter-spy called Fabian and his bosses called Delmer and Johnstone. The best of the bunch is probably Tunnel of Nightmare (Painajaistunneli, see the photo) in the beginning of which Fabian wakes up from the seedy side streets of the London port and seems to have lost his memory. Ruthless Enemy is about an East-European communist leader whom other commies want to kill. Fabian is set to protect him. I didn't really make any notes on Fall Guy, so I can't say anything about that.

There was still another piece by Struan in Finnish. The story The Girl from the Sea (yet another from 1954)
is about, well, a girl from the sea. A guy is swimming by the sea and notices a young woman is trying to escape from a ship that's anchored some hundred meters from the shore. It all has to do with the English nuclear weapons.

I'm a private eye man myself, so these spy stories didn't interest me as much. The stories seem competent enough, but they are no hidden gems.

I'm finally getting my Pulpografia Britannica - book on British crime pulpsters and paperbackers - together. It should be out in June. Don't know for sure yet, still got tons to do. I'll post some stuff on the writers therein in the blog for some days now.

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