Manhunt Magazine defined crime fiction in the 1950s. A monthly blast of violence and sex that sold millions of copies, Manhunt paved the way for a new age of literary mystery and crime that’s celebrated to this day. A veritable icon of quality.
Yeah, so what? That particular venue has been lauded and revered and mined for material for decades. It’s time to move on and see the forest for the trees. And, as you’ll soon find out, there were other outlets to lay your hat on if you were a murder and mayhem buff. Enter the low-rent crime digests, stuffed full of bursting brassieres and bloody shivs, with only one goal in mind: fill those pages!
With garish covers featuring scantily clad heroines and sadistic prison guards and titles such as Terror Detective, Two-Fisted Detective, Web Terror, and Shock Mystery Tales, you just knew you were in the right place. And some of the names on the contents page were familiar: Donald E. Westlake, Robert Silverberg, Lawrence Block, Harlan Ellison. Some were not: Flip Lyons, Art Crockett, Grover Brinkman, Dan Sontup. Both species of writers were equally responsible for what makes the sleazy crime digests so beloved.
Within these digests, you’ll encounter such unique individuals as: a drug pusher named Fang; a mafia hitman and his leprous girlfriend; the mad magician whose act may be a little too realistic; the psychiatrist whose previous position at a Nazi prison camp may be detrimental to his practice; and hundreds more.
In The Wild World of Two-Fisted Detective, Mystery and Terror Digests, Peter Enfantino has compiled a complete story-by-story guide to four of the most eccentric, perverted, and violent crime digests ever published
So put that tattered copy of the May 1952 Manhunt to the side and enter a world where there were no limits.
Peter Enfantino is the author of The Manhunt Companion (Stark House Press), an exhaustive story-by-story discussion of the greatest crime magazine of all time. He was an editor of The Scream Factory (1988 - 1997) and bare•bones (1997 - 2001, 2020 - present). He is an obsessive collector of crime, horror, and western digests, and has written for all the major channels on the topics, including Paperback Parade, Mystery Scene, and The Digest Enthusiast. He lives in a sleaze alley known as Gilbert, Arizona.
Praise for The Manhunt Companion:
The story annotations are concise and well-written, and reflect a consistent critical standard . . . Enfantino is a tough, sometimes idiosyncratic critic.
— Jon L. Breen, Mystery Scene
The Manhunt Companion is not only a must for readers and collectors of the magazine, but for anyone interested in cutting-edge noir fiction of the 50s and early 60s.
— Bill Pronzini
The Wild World of Two-Fisted Detective, Mystery and Terror Digests by Peter Enfantino
Publication Date: December 9, 2023
Suggested Retail Price: $14.95
Trade Paperback - 138 pages
Dimensions: 6 x 0.35 x 9 inches
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