The Spider – Mayor of Hell (1936) and Fangs of the Dragon (1942)


Vintage Golden Age Mystery
Scavenger Hunt Category: Coffin
Date Finished: March 19, 2016

Mayor of Hell

An insane plot, where a U.S. Senator takes over a state, passing totalitarian laws and controlling the police force. Only the Spider stands against them. All action here as a he Spider kills people right and left to find the man behind it all. The prose is a bit stiff, but there are no dull moments. Perhaps in the middle of the Depression political upheaval seemed possible.

Fangs of the Dragon

The second novel in this volume is better written, but the plot is much more mundane. The Spider arrives in a smaller city to investigate a some killings and unexplained behaviors. It isn’t just one killer but many behaving strangely due to supposedly being bitten by small flying fiery dragons, whose poison venom causes some to go mad and others to commit crimes. Of course, there is a criminal mastermind behind it all. The Spider and his assistants get infected too, with the Spider even faking his death at one point, hence the coffin cover. The little ribbon on the wreath says, “So Long, Sucker.” You probably have to custom order that. The resolution, though, is quick and unsatisfying. This one did not keep the interest as well as the first novel.

Vintage Golden Scavenger 2016-03-19


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