Detective Pocket was published by Gerald G. Swan [circa 1944-1945], boasts 36-pages, and is a 5 x 6 ¼ inch stapled booklet. The action-packed artwork is uncredited.
The contents are as follows:
○ 2 ● Pattern for Murder ● Douglas Stapleton ● nt Crack Detective Stories, 1944 Jan
○ 11 ● How Dead Was My Valet? ● Henry Norton ● ss Crack Detective Stories, 1944 Jan
○ 18 ● “D” for Diamonds and Death ● A. J. Cruse ● ss
As noted above, the lead two tales are actually reprints from an American pulp. The final story is written by British author A. J. Cruse, whom wrote the following known stories, all for Gerald G. Swan (information courtesy of FictionMags Index site).
- Fate Steps In (ss) Murder Shorts #1 1946
- Alibi for Murder (ss) Gang Shorts #4 1946
- Double Arrest (ss) Gang Shorts #4 1946
- The Tattered Photograph (ss) Scramble Dec 1947 [Martin Speed
“Pattern for Murder” involves a young man inheriting a property, only to find much of the local townspeople against his presence. His family has a long-standing feud with another family. However, the feud has been nonexistent for decades, until his uncle is found dead. Reportedly dead by suicide, he learns firsthand that his uncle was in fact murdered, when an identical attempt is made on his own life. Performing simple detective-investigative skills, he learns the truth about his family, and who is next in line to inherit, should he die!
“How Dead Was My Valet?” is actually quite an idiotic title. The valet is dead. No question. Ward Frame is released from prison, after five years lock-up, to meet with his loyal valet, whom reportedly has information regarding who really stole securities from the bank heist that he was sentenced for stealing. But, when he finds his valet shot dead, twice, above the eyes, he knows he’s in for the hot seat this time. Mere seconds pass and the cops have the house surrounded, and the only footprints on the scene are HIS, as the dust is thick and undisturbed. Refusing to accept the frame-up, he convinces the police to permit him a 24-hour stay, to prove his innocence. Investigating the bank premises, he learns that the bookkeeper fudged the numbers and that the securities are bogus. They never existed!
Cruse’s tale–“‘D’ for Diamonds and Death“–is fun stuff. Multiple murders occurs, beginning in England, when a clerk kills his boss for a recent arrival of diamonds. He in turn is murdered by a sea man. The sea man is slain in New York by the mob. The diamonds end up in the hands of a wealthy, respected citizen, and he in turn is killed by the notorious Shadow. Enlisted to solve the crime is Waring. He interrogates all family and staff on-hand, and narrows it down to a very small list of possibles, but not before someone takes a potshot at him with a poisonous blow dart. There are only two persons present capable of handling the weapon, but which one is guilty?
Both the American reprints and the UK (original?) story hold up well and better yet, if you are interested, this pamphlet DOES turn up from time to time.