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KILLING TIME and Other Stories

 

Joel Townsley Rogers

 

From THE JURY BOX, Jon Breen's critical column in ELLERY QUEEN Mystery Magazine:

 

*** Joel Townsley Rogers: Killing Time and Other Stories, with introduction and afterword by Alfred Jan, Ramble House, $28 hardcover, $18 trade paper. Six longish pulp stories, dating from 1934 to 1947, represent an undervalued writer. The title story about a disabled World War II veteran trying to break into mystery writing, offers affectionate parody and fair-play detection, while the magazine version of the classic The Red Right Hand captures its offbeat flavor only slightly less effectively than at full length. The outré plots often involve coincidence, though not to the fantastical extent of Harry Stephen Keeler, whose complete works are offered by Ramble House. (An indispensable companion is the earlier Rogers collection Night of Horror and Other Stories [Ramble House, $30 hardcover, $18 trade paper] including the much anthologized minor classic "The Murderer" and a Rogers bibliography compiled by son Tom Rogers, expanded by Francis M. Nevins.)

 

And here’s what four of America’s favorite authors-about-town have to say about Ramble House’s two Joel Townsley Rogers’ collections, NIGHT OF HORROR and KILLING TIME—

 

“Rogers was the real deal, author of a true masterpiece, The Red Right Hand, and a pulp man who could, and did, do it all. If you want the strong heady thrill of genuine pulp — and not the pale imitation that came later — latch on to both of these collections immediately.”

— Ed Gorman

 

“Killing Time collects six pulp novellas by Joel Townsley Rogers, including the original version of the classic The Red Right Hand, along with a story about a pulp writer and a story with a character named Captain Sparrow, whom I like to think is a distant cousin to the famous Pirate of the Caribbean. Highly recommended!”

— Bill Crider

 

“The six tales gathered here are among Joel Townsley Rogers’ most accomplished pulp magazine contributions of the 30s and 40s — cleverly plotted, highly atmospheric, suspenseful, and dripping with menace. The original magazine version of his classic crime novel, The Red Right Hand, and Alfred Jan’s insightful analyses of Rogers’ work, are the highlights. Killing Time is a must for every connoisseur of vintage crime fiction.”

— Bill Pronzini

 

“Ramble House has specialized in bringing neglected (and sometimes alternative) geniuses back into print. First came the great Harry Stephen Keeler, then the so-clever Norman Berrow. More recently Ramble House has been sparking the rehabilitation of Joel Townsley Rogers, a versatile and prolific author who seemed to be totally forgotten save for one novel, The Red Right Hand. Killing Time is the second Ramble House collection of Rogers’s shorter fiction, and every story in it, from the 1934 ‘Murder of the Dead Man’ to the 1947 title story, hits with a wallop and a sting. Bravo! Bravissimo!”

— Richard A. Lupoff