A grand old pulp hero. I read some of these in the early '70s, in reprint paperbacks. He was designed to compete against The Shadow and - according to a web source - actually outlasted the Shadow. The Phantom Detective's
career lasted from the early 1930s to the early 1950s.
I've included some representative original cover art
, but not for this actual novel, which I could not find. I wanted younger readers to see what the art looked like from that era.
Here's some history about the Phantom's
background as a character:
(as he was called in the stories) was wealthy Richard Curtis Van Loan. In the first few issues of the title, The Phantom
was introduced as a world wide recognized detective
, whose identity only one man knew, Frank Havens - the publisher of the Clarion newspaper. Richard Curtis Van Loan had become an orphan at an early age, but inherited wealth. Before the Great War, he had been an idle playboy. During the war he was a pilot who downed many German planes.
After the war Richard had a difficult time returning to his idle playboy life. At the suggestion of his father's friend, Havens, Richard set out to solve a crime the police couldn't. After solving it, Richard decided he'd found his calling, where he could have a life of adventure and danger.
He trained himself in all facets of detection and forensics. He bacame a master of disguise and escape. And then he made a name for himself as the Phantom, whom all police agencies around the world knew of and respected."
I hope you enjoy it. I'll have a few more coming after I take a trip down to the bookstore with my Reader and drink a latte.
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