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Maracas (John and Gwen Bagni)

On discovering the ship he is serving on is carrying contraband, our hero decides to cut himself in for a piece of the action. This allows him to appreciate a sequence of double-crosses from the inside.

Kind of a downer (but part of the general pattern that cheaters never prosper in this series). The portrayal of the South Americans was ... unfortunate and given the date, possibly based on the bandits from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre.

There sure are a lot of stories involving ships in this series.
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Three Skeleton Key (George G. Toudouze)

Three lighthouse keepers manning a lighthouse off shore of French Guiana are surprised to see a derelict ship approaching the key on which the lighthouse is situation. Once the ship's deadly passengers make themselves known, surprise to turns to horror and madness.

Surely the ecology here is unsustainable?
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Plunder of the Sun (David Dodge)

An American adventure, smitten by an attractive Peruvian woman, agrees to smuggle a small package into Peru for her boss in exchange for a promise (from her boss) that she will be "most grateful" to him. In short order, he is caught up in a race to find the lost treasure of the Incas.

Interesting that the situation with the woman is pretty much as bad as it seems to be. Also, that the marker of the bad guy is he just wants to melt down the artifacts so he can sell the gold.
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Flood on the Goodwins (David Devine)

A bitter war veteran, still adjusting to the loss of his arm, his uncle and his wife are taken hostage by a Nazi spy. After they are forced to convey the Nazi back to Europe, the story becomes a three way struggle between the veteran, his wife and the Nazi.

Least genre aware Nazi ever.

Points to the wife for exploiting period views of women as helpless victims.
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Night in Havana (Burnham Carter)

A career criminal in Havana is determined to go straight so he can marry his beloved Amalea but rather than come to the marriage without any assets at all, he decides to carry out one last job. What could go wrong?

The key to surviving stories like this is to be a charming reprobate of the sort who might plan incriminating evidence on a friend but who won't leave that friend to bleed to death and who will go to extremes not to lose his fiancee's nest egg. It also helps if the antagonists are witless thugs and an American couple the author goes out of his way to paint as unsympathetically as possible.
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Escape: The Sure Thing (John and Gwen Bagni)

Responding to a call for help, a ship's doctor realizes he is caught in a deadly struggle over stakes he does not understand. A brutal death is very possible but if the doctor plays his cards right he could walk away with an easy two million dollars.

If it wasn't for the next story, I'd say stories where the protagonist makes a play for easy street generally end badly. Instead I will ask whether it's likely given the nature of the accuser and the lack of evidence if the doctor is really in as hot water as he thinks he is.
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The Great Impersonation (E. Phillips Oppenheim)

As Europe teeters on the edge of WWII, the Germans decide to take advantage of the similarity in appearance between a German spy and a disgraced British aristocrat; the man Britain believes is Sir Everard returned with an African fortune is funded by the Nazis to set up a network in the UK and Ireland.

I wonder about one thing SPOILERS Read more... )
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The General Died at Dawn (Charles Booth)

A burned out adventurer decides to take on one last job, one that should net him a third share of a half million dollars, plus a pretty dame to call his own. Circumstances and a very annoyed Chinese general will get in the way.

Wow, this was kind of rapey. Also, I am afraid I will always think of this one as "that one where the good guy got away by convincing his dying captor to prove how sincere his body guards are are by ordering them to commit mass suicide."

This was a movie. I did not see the movie. I hope it had a better ending.

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When the Man Comes, Follow Him (Ralph Bates)

Following the cryptic clues left by a dying man, four gangsters venture into an unforgiving desert in search of the Lost Dutchman Mine. Nature is bad enough but worse is simple human greed and the inability of people to trust each other.

I am pretty sure if I was dying of a gunshot wound, I wouldn't manage to get out such a long list of clues so coherently.

There's a certain Jack London element to some of this.
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Confidential Agent (Graham Green)

A man from a carefully unnamed nation now fighting the Nazis makes his way to the United Kingdom, where he hopes to buy industrial diamonds for the war effort. There he finds his enemies have preceded him and worse, he cannot be sure his British ally - a young woman he met on the way - is not also an enemy agent.

The protagonist is a pretty crappy spy but I suppose he had no training for it all.
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The Adaptive Ultimate (Stanley G. Weinbaum, as "John Jessel"))

An earnest doctor, eager to offer humanity a discover that would render us immune to most of life's travails, discovers to his horror the dying woman he tried it on has become the greatest monster imaginable, a woman with power!

Yeah, so this pretty awful in pretty much every conceivable way. Although I do take the point that it's probably best not to use instant immortal juice on someone who seems to be a sociopath.

I did like how the two doctors discuss how horrid she looks right in front of the dying woman. Bedside manner: as mythical in this time as medical ethics.
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Finger of Doom (Cornell Woolrich)

A young man on a date grudgingly allows his fiance to run a small errand for her boss, only to have her vanish mid-errand. Worse, when he calls the cops in there's little evidence to show she existed at all, let alone disappeared into what proves to be an unoccupied apartment.

This made liberal use of foreign, accent and dark skinned as signals of nogoodnikery. It really was not very good.
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He Who Rides the Tiger (James Norman)

A man wakes in China to find he has lost the last eight years to amnesia. The Chinese authorities in the form of Inspector He Who Rides the Tiger would liked to know what he was doing in those eight years, because those years span 1941 to 1949 and since he wasn't working for the Allies, he may have been a collaborators. Others have a good idea what he was up to and would like very much for him not to remember.

So, 1949, China: think Quinto and his wife are communists?
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Conquerer's Isle

An aviator thought lost in WWII reappears with a wild tale about a hidden island populated by mutant superhumans with a terrible plan to replace dullard humanity.

Well, this was a familiar sort of tale. I guess it was nice of the old duffer to try to seem sad that he was going to totally genocide humans, rather than reveling in it.
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Red Wine (Lawrence G. Blochman)

An American detective heads to Borneo to haul a murderer back to justice. He assumes his prey will stand out in Borneo but as the amused overseeing explains there are three American men working on the plantation and all of them fit the rather vague description; worse, they all know why the detective is there. The detective is forced to fall back on unsubtle leading questions to force the killer to reveal himself.

Apparently the krait and the seductive native woman were added by Escape to pad this put to 29+ minutes.
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The Orient Express (Graham Greene)

Caught up in the prelude to a coming revolution/coup the protagonist goes to great lengths to rescue the rather helpless young woman who is only in trouble because of his previous attempts to help/seduce her.

I'd be a bit critical of the total lack of interest he shows in whether it is a good thing for the current government of wherever to be overthrown but I am too distracted by how he totally abandoned the plucky girl reporter to her fate so he could leg it with the cute girl he is hoping to sleep with.

Wikpedia's synopsis of the novel sounds pretty dire.
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The Lost Special (Arthur Conan Doyle)

A detective is stuck with a seemingly impossible to solve mystery: how could a train vanish without a trace from a single tracked route between stations?

Very reminiscent of a Holmes story but not in this form a Holmes story.
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The Man Who Could Work Miracles (HG Wells)

A common British man learns that for some reason he is now able to work miracles. With the help of a local cleric he explores how far is too far.

I note that among the miracles inflicted on the town are making all the local women beautiful, turning the local supply of alcohol to water and serial kidnapping of the local cop (to San Francisco via Hades; it is probably very good for the cop the protagonist didn'd say Hell). Consent not really a concept back when this was written.
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A Dream of Armageddon (H.G. Wells)

A man of our time (or rather 1901) dreams that he is a 22nd century man, a once-powerful politician, driven from office because of an unsuitable romance. The man of the future is asked to return to power before foolish men can tip the world into war but because he would be required to set his lover aside he refuses. He resolves to simply turn his back on the world that rejected his lover; unfortunately for him, his desire to ignore the world does not mean the world will ignore him.

I thought the romance might be a reference to Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson but the original long predated the radio play.
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S.S. San Pedro (James Gould Cozzens)

An inflexible first officer does his best to carry out his duties despite unexplained technical issues, a hurricane and a saucy woman who has set her cap for him. She is canny enough to work out the significance of a particular passenger but the protagonist is much less canny.


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