by Charles Boeckman
* Several stories in this collection have been reprinted by Bold Venture Press under the title Strictly Poison and Other Stories.
From Vintage Pulps to Hitchcock Jump aboard for a fascinating ride as you flip through the pages of 24 tales of Suspense, Suspicion, and Shockers, by none other than Charles Boeckman. Writing as Charles Beckman, Jr., starting in 1945, he whipped out stories that mislead, conceal, and surprise, with characters so real they jump off the page. His stories have such raw emotional appeal that some will make you cringe, some will make you shudder, some will grip you with their suspense, but all will make you feel. You'll meet gritty characters to love and hate, dames to put on a pedestal and some you'd like to choke, loyal friends and scoundrels, loveable dimwits and cunning backstabbers, deadly rattlesnakes, dangerous situations, and plots that keep you turning the page.
In his stories with a musical background, you'll feel the beat of the music taken from the pages of Boeckman's own life experiences as a horn man. If you like vintage pulp detective, crime, and suspense stories, this is the right book for you. If you like Alfred Hitchcock suspense and surprise endings, this is the right book for you. If you just plain like to read, this is also the right book for you. What's not to like about such stories? They are so much fun! Editorial comments: "We need more stories like yours that have a strong emotional tone." ~Mike Tilden, legendary editor at Popular Publications
Excerpts from reviews: By Tommy Hancock, Writer, Editor, Publisher, and Reviewer for Pro Se Publications: Boeckman writes with a starkness, a reality, that wasn't present very much in the work of most of his contemporaries. His characters are flawed, many addicted to something, be it marijuana or music, and they make mistakes. Boeckman also, however, reflects the one wonderful aspect all humanity shares. That even in the darkest hour, when all hope is lost, a blackened soul might just reach out for the light and do one good thing in an otherwise worthless life. Another appealing aspect of Boeckman's SUSPENSE, SUSPICION, & SHOCKERS is the characters themselves. With all the reading I do of both new and classic stories, I find many I enjoy, but not so many that truly inspire, that make me want to read more of what doesn't exist, to up my game in ways I can't understand. When you meet Boeckman's Big Lip, Johnny Nickle, Michael OShean, and other citizens that populate this fantastic collection, you'll know what I mean, especially if you're an avid Pulp fan and/or creator. FIVE OUT FIVE TIPS OF THE HAT- SUSPENSE, SUSPICION, & SHOCKERS. Definitely in the top three of books I've ever tipped my hat to. By Ron Fortier, Writer, Editor, Reviewer, and Publisher, Airship 27 Productions: This book, which sports a truly gorgeous cover by amazing Laura Givens, is crammed with twenty-four stories; every single one of them a dazzling display of originality and deft story-telling technique. Like the finest writers of the pulp era, Beckman had a keen, unerring grasp of human psychology and he employed it like a skillful surgeon carving up plot twists that turn on a dime and more often than not, leave the reader both surprised and delighted. No easy feat. At the same time, because the book is so packed with stories, a true sense of the times emerges from the pages enveloping the reader taking them on a nostalgic journey back to an American landscape that can only be remembered in such pieces. And throughout, Beckman's background in music, especially the vibrancy of New Orleans jazz, is often the spiritual background to his cautionary yarns about desperate men and women struggling to survive in a bleak and desolate world. "SUSPENSE, SUSPICION & SHOCKERS” IS A GENUINE TREASURE TROVE OF GREAT PULP FICTION BY ONE OF THE BEST WRITERS TO EVER TAP HIS FINGERS OVER THE KEYS OF A MECHANICAL TYPEWRITER. THERE WAS MAGIC IN THOSE FINGERS AND IT AWAITS YOU IN THIS BOOK.