Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Your Daily Ralph! A Review of The New Adventures of Foster Fade- the Criminal Spectacularist.

A New Review of The New Adventures of Foster Fade the Criminal Spectacularist.


Having just finished this new anthology in Pro-Se’s catalogue of pulp characters brought back to life for a new audience I was driven to create a new review for this heretofore unknown character to me.

You see, I had never heard of Foster Fade before. It turns out he is a Lester Dent (Doc Savage’s creator) creation.

Knowing absolutely zero about the character I went in and read the book from cover to cover. It was an interesting character in that he was so far removed from a Doc Savage type of hero as to be a polar opposite. The only thing they had in common is that both were brilliant men who designed and built devices years ahead of anyone else. Otherwise Fade was a thin, gangly type with an acerbic personality. I found him at times to be extremely annoying myself. But in other stories to be fairly interesting. Fade has a gorgeous female reporter who works with him chronicling his exploits for the newspaper they both work for. Her name is Dinamenta Stevens or as he refers to her ‘Din’. She travels with him to crime scenes where she takes pictures and he bounces theories off of her.

Most of the stories in this collection were excellent and could be very easily enjoyed, even if like me, you knew nothing about the character.

Fade is a criminologist employed by the newspaper so the police have a love/hate relationship with him. He has no friends really on either side of the law, which is kind of unique, because he’s not a vigilante. What he is, is a pompous ass at times who likes to overshadow the police with his brilliance.

But the police realize he’s the best at what he does and do begrudgingly work with him, most of the time because they have no choice one way or another.

In Dead man’s guns by Adam Lance Garcia, Fade is taunted by a delivery of guns to his office which turn out being murder weapons used sometimes only hours before.

The Cider King Murder by Derrick Ferguson is a tale of a man who had a hidden past that finally caught up to him.

The Voodoo death by Aubrey Stevens is about what appears to be voodoo murders in the city by an ancient evil spirit whose mere name is used to frighten children and adults alike.

The Pied Piper of Harlem by David White concerns two men who terrorize the city in a terrible and horrific manner. (My favorite of the book, BTW)

Grudge Match by H. David Blalock is the story of someone who feels Foster Fade outshined him in his work and now seeks revenge by implicating Fade himself in ongoing horrific crimes.

The Black Rock Conspiracy again by Adam Lance Garcia is about a train trip that turns decidedly deadly.


All in all a very enjoyable anthology. I liked it even though I knew nothing of this character at all. Give it a whirl, it’s a fun book.

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