“Tapestry Triangle” by Thomas P. Kelley

Tapestry Triangle

During and after the war years (that’s World War 2, in this case) England was suffering from immense paper rations, and smaller upstart publishing houses were printing on anything available, including tissue paper, colored paper stock (literally of ANY color), cardboard, etc. You name it, they printed on it.

In this instance, the publishers, Pemberton’s of Manchester, contracted Canadian publisher Associated Weekly Newspapers to print some titles and ship them across.

Here we have Thomas P. Kelley (Kelly, in error, on the cover, but correct on the interior title page) writing a supernatural Oriental quasi-detective novel entitled Tapestry Triangle. It was printed under Manchester’s “A Peveril Novel” series, in 1946.

Researchers might be interested to know that the printers really screwed up this project. The story begins on Page 15 (page 13 is the title and copyright page; page 14 is an advertisement) and ends on Page 138. page 139 is blank. Page 140 sports a Cadbury ad.

You do the math….

The cover illustrates what should be an Oriental smoking a cigarette. He hardly looks Oriental. The cheaply constructed cover, author surname misspelled, and the hundreds of spelling errors inside (and a few lines of missing text!) greatly hinder the quality of this novel. It also likely lends a load of credibility to just WHY this book is so infernally rare!!! No doubt readers were put off by the hundreds of spelling mistakes and tossed the book in the bin. They would hardly have known the name was wrong or cared much about the cover art. Another thing missing from the cover? The price. The bubble is present, but, the publishers or printers failed to insert the customary 9d price!!! Or, perhaps, in England, the someone was supposed to slap a label on? Who knows!

Dare I even read the book and provide a synopsis? Of course I dare.

Mr. Wu is an immortal Oriental, whom has lived since before Christ was born. His longevity is due to having drank from the Elixir of Life, a chemical composition only known to him and forgotten throughout the ages.

Working hard upon the heels of Amazonian murderers, Wu must keep Thalia, leader of the Amazonian tribe, from obtaining three separated pieces of a tapestry, that when placed together, provide a map to the burial of Genghis Khan, and, the infamously valuable loot that he gathered. Using pure ingenuity, wits, a sword cane, and flawless jujitsu, Wu works his away adroitly through dives, dens, and alleyways of terror, dodging death and would-be assassins with consummate ease.

Wu eventually eliminates all opposition, Thalia dies of her own hand rather than be arrested and jailed for countless murders, and Wu obtains from her the missing two portions of the tapestry. The third? He’s had it hidden all along with a friend in Toronto.

Returning to Canada, he has all three pieces now combined, and hands them over to Lotus Wing, a young lady that was brought up under the guise of being the daughter to the now-dead Sun Wing. Learning from Wu that she was adopted, she is further shocked to learn she is a direct descendant to the Khan lineage.

Wu hands her the tapestry map to do with as she will. Realizing that many more lives will be at stake, so long as those maps exist, she surrenders the fragile bits to a candle’s flame, and in moments, they become ashes….

But what of Thalia’s and the Amazon’s historical hatred for the ancient Wu? He provides an in-depth history of his early life, his capture by pirates, a battle that leads to his escape, and eventual meeting with the then head Amazonian, several hundreds of years earlier, and how he escaped their clutches after freeing some captives and also eluding their clutches, much to their humiliation.

Want to know more…? Tough luck.

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“Tapestry Triangle” by Thomas P. Kelley

4 thoughts on ““Tapestry Triangle” by Thomas P. Kelley

  1. I had no idea this existed… and am not so sure about anyone else. I’ve long held an interest in Kelley an energetic pulpist who appears to have made good money through his speedy writing. Tapestry Triangle certainly sounds like his work. The man wrote quickly and took pride in foregoing rewrites, revisions, and reflection.

    I was amused by the misspelling of his surname. The very same thing occurred in his supposed non-fiction work Jesse James: His Life and Death, published in 1950 by New Stand Library, post-war Canada’s worst publisher. (It is a tragedy that they came and went in little more than eighteen months.)

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    1. Hello Brian,
      The Jesse James book is indeed by Kelley. I have spoken at length with the current heir to the estate (being the son of Kelley’s maid) and he has tons of Kelley’s materials on-hand, smartly retained by his mother, all those years. Sadly, he disappeared from my radar.

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  2. Hello Morgan Wallace

    Guess who doesn’t write letters by hand anymore and has been corresponding via the internet since around the end of 2013. Sorry we lost touch, when I started using the computer, which I told my children I would never use, I started doing some very interesting research about Kelley’s dad, ‘The Fabulous Kelley’ and Kelley’s friend, the notorious Herbert Emerson Wilson, King of The Safecrackers. I have also become friends with Ray Fazakas, the leading expert in the Donnelly tragedy and have published several of Kelley’s books. I have recently teamed up with The Pulp Fiction Book Store, and they have started publishing in the form of eBooks Kelley’s fiction and fantasy from Weird Tales, Eerie Tales and Uncanny Tales, and are also going to do some of Kelley’s rare works, one of them being, ‘Tapestry Triangle’. I have so much stuff on the go and much to talk about.

    Hope to talk soon

    John http://www.darlingterracepublishing.com

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