by Frederick C. Davis
introduction by Andrew Salmon
From 1933–37 pulpsmith extraordinaire Frederick C. Davis chronicled the adventures of the classic pulp hero the Moon Man in the pages of Ten Detective Aces. One of the most unique and compelling characters in the history of the genre, the Moon Man was the Robin Hood of the pulps: He stole from those who profited from the misery of the Depression to help those in need, to balance the scales of justice.
And justice was close to the Moon Man’s heart. For the Moon Man was actually police detective Stephen Thatcher—a dedicated law officer all too familiar with the cracks in the system criminals used to avoid retribution. Donning a black robe and a globe of Argus glass, Thatcher became the Moon Man, a thief who stole from criminals the law could not touch.
Now the Moon Man is hunted by his best friend and partner, reviled by his father and fiancé who all want to see the masked thief pay the ultimate price for his crimes. Stephen Thatcher must walk the razor’s edge of his double life where, every minute, the threat of exposure could shatter his fragile world.
For the first time in decades all 38 of the Moon Man’s exploits have been collected by Altus Press in a seven-volume set.
- Ghoul’s Gamble: Clayton Kennard was missing, and over the wire came the demand for a hundred grand ransom. Lieutenant Gil McEwen was sure he knew the kidnaper. He promised to send the Moon Man to the chair, promised even while the Moon Man stood at his side in the person of Detective Sergeant Steve Thatcher. Blood stained the floor of a crypt in Sanctuary Cemetery. And beside that blood was the mark of the Moon Man. When McEwen demanded an inspection in the mausoleum murder, Steve Thatcher knew that the dice had been loaded against him in the Ghoul’s Gamble.
- The Silver Snare: Detectives McEwen and Thatcher had found the absconding cashier’s loot. McEwen was congratulating himself—when the frenzied cry blared out that the Moon Man was in the house. The loot suddenly disappeared. Then Detective McEwen was accused of being the Moon Man. When the evidence piled up and the law clamped down, Steve Thatcher—the Moon Man himself—had to take the deadliest risk of his life, because his friend, McEwen, was caught in the Silver Snare.
- The Crimson Shrine: Only two people knew that the notorious Moon Man was Detective Sergeant Steve Thatcher. One was Ned Dargan, the Moon Man’s ambassador extraordinary. And he had been tricked into snaring the Moon Man in a killer’s death trap. The other who knew was Sue McEwen, daughter of Detective Lieutenant McEwen, and the Moon Man’s sweetheart. And to save him from that death trap, she told her father: “the Moon Man–is Steve Thatcher!”
- Satan’s Stepson: She was a honey of a girl–poisoned honey. She had given the signal for robbery and murder. But those pretty eyes of hers had seen a secret that it was dangerous to know. For she had learned the true identity of the notorious Moon Man. She held the destiny of that enigma of enigmas in the palm of her hand. And the Moon Man was backed to the wall in the shadow of the electric chair.
- The Silver Spectre: Set a crook to catch a crook is the old gag. Detective Lieutenant McEwen had a new one–set a Moon Man to catch a Moon Man. He did. And Steve Thatcher, the real Moon Man, was caught in a murder web where he was forced to work against himself–forced under the gun of the deadliest marksman in all the police department.
The Complete Adventures of the Moon Man, Volume 4: 1935 by Frederick C. Davis contains the following stories:
- “Ghoul’s Gamble”
- “The Silver Snare”
- “The Crimson Shrine”
- “Satan’s Stepson”
- “The Silver Spectre”