I stumbled across The Paperback Fanatic #41 while browsing in AMAZON. I ordered a copy and within a week I was enjoying some great reading about paperbacks! The cover artwork for the Conan paperbacks caught my eye. I own most of the Conan paperbacks, but I wanted to learn more about them. Richard Toogood’s essay on the Conan series provided many details that I wasn’t aware of. The article on E. V. Cunningham (aka, Howard Fast) proved to be fascinating, too. Howard Fast wrote a dozen crime novels under his “E. V. Cunningham” pseudonym from 1960 to 1973. All the crime novels had women’s names as their titles: Sylvia, Phyllis, Helen, Alice, Lydia, Shirley, Penelope, Helen, Margie, Sally, Samantha, Cynthia, and Millie.

Of course, once I read the E. V. Cunningham and Conan articles, I wanted to drop everything and read some of those paperbacks! If you’re a fan of paperbacks, you’ll enjoy The Paperback Fanatic. I’ve order some back issues before they go out-of-print! GRADE: B+
Heads Up 4
Doom-Mongerers 6
E. V. Cunningham 8
The Hitt Squad 10
Australian Movie Novelizations 14
Raymond Kursar on Manor Books 20
All Hail the King 25
The Plantation Pulps of N.E.L. 32
Segretissimo: The Second Assignment 44
Crom’s Tomes: Conan in Paperback 54


  1. Deb

    I think Fast must have rereleased some (or all) of his Cunningham books under his actual name. I have both SYLVIA and LYDIA with Fast’s name on the cover. Iirc, SYLVIA is interesting, but LYDIA is really wild, with a great plot twist and “how’s he going to get out of this?” moment midway through.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, I’ve read a couple of the “E. V. Cunningham” mysteries years ago, but now I want to read them all! I think I have a copy of LYDIA around here somewhere…

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Deb, now you’re making it sound too interesting. Stop that! Later, Fast wrote a series about a Japanese American cop in Beverly Hills, Masao Masuto, that was OK but nothing special.

    1. george Post author

      Dan, I know. I was surprised at “Australian Movie Novelizations,” too. And “The Plantation Pulps of N.E.L.” which Bill Crider would have loved. I only have a few New English Library paperbacks–mostly SF–but they have some nifty cover artwork!

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        I thought of Bill too. You know he would have loved the “Plantation Pulps” thing.

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, I sometimes find some New English Library (NEL) paperbacks in Canada. But, I’ve never see an NEL Plantation Pulp. Nice to know that they exist!

      3. Todd Mason

        Yeah, but the lazy misappropriation of “pulp” to refer to anything infra-dig in literature irks me. Hipsterish. Probably about the quality of paper, inferior to pulp, such MANDINGO-imitation novels deserved, for the most part, I’d guess.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, I read a few of those “name” novels by “E.V. Cunningham” but now I want to read them all. I’ll have to track down some of the later titles. I think I have 7 or 8 of the books in the series, but they’ll the early titles.

      1. george Post author

        Todd, WORDPRESS is sometimes quirky. When people have trouble accessing my blog, I suggest they go through GOOGLE. That seems to work.

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