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Friday, September 14, 2012

Black Mask Stories #7: The Shrieking Skeleton and Other Crime Fiction from the Legendary Magazine (audiobook) edited by Otto Penzler

 Hard-boiled detective mysteries at their best

Published by Highbridge Audio in 2012
Duration: 6 hours, 31 minutes.
Narrated by Peter Ganim, Richard Ferrone, Jeff Gurner, David Ledoux

Black Mask magazine was a classic of the era of the pulp magazines. It's specialty was detective stories. If you love the movies with the hard-boiled detective in a trench coat with a smart mouth, a quick gun and even quicker fists who gets hired by some "dame" then this is your series.

Erle Stanley Gardner (1889-1970)
In the seventh release of the series, Highbridge Audio brings us five stories of varying lengths read by four different narrators. Every story begins with a short introduction to each author that includes a mini-biography of their career and of the characters featured. Many of these characters that made their way to the Hollywood big screen and the title story (The Shrieking Skeleton) is written by Charles M. Green, a pseudonym of Erle Stanley Gardner, a prolific author best known for creating Perry Mason.

Ironically, Gardner's story is the weakest (meaning it was merely pretty good, but not great) in this very strong collection. If you like lines like, "It was a perfect setting for murder," this is a good bet for you. These are the classic stories that became the movies that shaped our views of what makes a detective story and they are a lot of fun in their original glory.

I rate this audiobook 4 stars out of 5.

Reviewed on September 14, 2012.

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