Friday, February 21, 2020

B-movie thriller "White Fire"

“White Fire,” from 1953, is yet another example of a well-made British B-picture.

It is the story of American Merchant Marine officer, Gregor Stevens, on leave in London and looking for his brother. Turns out, the brother is due to hang in three days for murder. (The title of this film when shown in England was, “3 Days to the Gallows.”)

Stevens races around town, running down clues, fighting with hoods and ducking gunmen, as he tries to clear his brother.

There are some significant plot holes in the script. But director John Gilling keeps everything moving so fast that viewers won’t care. Gilling spent most of the 1950s turning out tight little thrillers,

Tough-guy actor Scott Brady (the younger brother of tough-guy actor Lawrence Tierney) does a good job as Gregor Stevens. His action-packed performance had me wondering why he was not a bigger star in Hollywood? Maybe Tinseltown was under the spell of the method actors at that time.

Mary Castle plays a nightclub singer who gets involved with Stevens. Her presence in the movie is a bit of a shock. Mary Castle was a dead-ringer for Rita Hayworth.

Another plus is all the location filming the production did around London.

B-movies are not for everyone, but I happen to like them. “White Fire,” is one of the better Bs.It can be found on YouTube.

Friday, February 14, 2020

An Order for Murder by Steve Fisher

Here’s a story I got a charge out of when I read it the other day.

“An Order for Murder,” by Steve Fisher, is a short yarn from 1936 about a hit man who wants to change careers and become a mystery writer.

It is available here at

That site has a huge collection of stories from the pulp magazines. I’ve spent hours on it, randomly reading short tales by well-known and little-known writers.

Steve Fisher (1912-1980) wrote short stories for the pulps and the slicks. He wrote screenplays in Hollywood. And he wrote books. His 1941 crime novel, I Wake Up Screaming, is on my TBR list.

Read more about Steve Fisher here.

(For more posts on books, head over to Todd Mason’s blog.)

(Also, check out my crime novel, Lyme Depot. Thanks.)

Saturday, February 1, 2020

Under A Raging Moon by Frank Zafiro

"Couldn’t put it down," is a phrase I rarely use. But it is the best way to describe my reaction to Frank Zafiro’s novel, Under A Raging Moon.

An armed robber is frustrating officers of a city police force in Washington state.

Dubbed “Scarface" by the cops, the elusive criminal robs convenience stores. He holds a gun on the clerks, takes all the cash, and gets away long before the cops arrive.

One night, officers chase Scarface. But the man scales a tall fence, fires off several shots at his pursuers, and disappears into the night. This violent junkie is more dangerous than the police first thought. His moves reveal advanced military training.

Under A Raging Moon follows a handful men and women, patrol officers of the River City police department, on their nightly rounds. Their work makes for a fast, exciting, and authentic read.

Frank Zafiro, a 20-year veteran of the Spokane, Washington police department, knows the way cops work, play and talk. Under A Raging Moon is the first book in his River City series. It is a terrific read and I look forward to riding along with the officers in the next book.

(For more posts on books, head over to Todd Mason’s blog.)

(Also, check out my crime novel, Lyme Depot. Thanks.)