“Killer’s Law”
by L. Ron Hubbard
Multicast performance
Produced by Galaxy audio
Approx 2 hours

It’s funny when you think about it, many people complain about today’s youth in reference to their short attention span. This complaint has been blamed on the MTv generation creating short films and high-speed messages from the 80s. The funny part however can really be traced back to the middle of the century. During this time period there were short cartoons and serials before movies and the movies were at the longest 90 minutes. In the literary world there were the pulps. Pulp fiction magazines that were full of short stories that ran the gamut of available genres.

Many of these pulp magazines featured great authors telling great stories in the short story or novella format. Some of the stories may be lost forever, but thanks to Galaxy Audio and Galaxy Press, the pulp fiction era stories from L. Ron Hubbard are being re-released. The non-audiobook versions have the look and feel of the old pulp magazines. They have made the covers sturdier so that they will last longer but once you crack one of these open the feel of the paper on which the books are printed is the thick and pulpy texture that gave the magazine’s the pulp fiction nickname.

The audiobooks are a completely different approach to these fun stories. The audiobook productions are full cast performances complete with sound effects and original transitional music that make for a full surround feel of these stories, placing you as the listener right in the middle of the story. They also have the sound of classic radio plays from the same era of the pulp fiction releases.

The voice actors are all phenomenal in that these stories feature over the top characters and each actor brings the characters to life with great voicework. The sound effects keep the story rolling without overpowering the scene set by the story.

This release from GalaxyAudio features 4 short stories that come from the Mystery genre and each one features a detective story with the inevitable twists and turns that L. Ron Hubbard did best.

The first story is the title story “Killer’s Law,” it was originally published in the September, 1947 issue of “New Detective” magazine. When Sheriff Kyle of Deadeye, Nevada comes to Washington D.C. at the request of a senator to bring evidence against a wealthy copper king he finds himself in the middle of a scandal when he’s knocked unconscious and awakens next to the dead body of the senator he was to meet. The sheriff must then solve this mystery to clear his name.

The next story is “They Killed Him Dead,” which was originally published in the May, 1936 issue of “Detective Fiction Weekly.” Detective “Careful” Cassidy literally walks into what seems to be a murder just as it happens. After all, he hears the gun shot and as he turns the corner sees a man holding a gun and another man dead with a gunshot to the head. Seems pretty much like an open and shut case. Normally Detective Cassidy would look at all aspects of the case but seeing as this seems pretty normal, arrests the man with the gun and sends the body to the morgue. Once in the morgue the coroner takes a look and the case doesn’t seem to be so open and shut, with the dead man having possibly died from a stabbing, or a broken neck, or from choking. “Careful” Cassidy arrests four suspects before unraveling the truth to this mystery.

The third story is “The Mad Dog Murder” and was originally published in the June, 1936 issue of “Detective Fiction Weekly.” This one is a bit of a cute murder mystery in which the main suspect is at first a rabid Pekingese. A man dies of rabies and yet the dog doesn’t seem to have the disease after a few days in the pound. Yet a doctor with a penchant for animal testing seems to be under suspicion.

The final story in this collection is “The Blow Torch Murder” and was originally published in the March, 1936 issue of “Detective Fiction Weekly.” In the days before great television CSI problem solvers a detective must uncover the murderer from the usual suspects who are conveniently in jail for various minor crimes at the time of death. A cleverly devised murder, that appears to have been committed with a blow torch, is solved by a homicide detective with only a wristwatch as a clue.

In today’s age all of these mysteries could be solved in a single episode of a CSI program, however being the mid-20th century the detectives have only their wits to solve what today’s crimes are solved by extreme graphics, closeups and CGI.

 

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