F Van Wyck Mason has been on my radar ever since Tomcat reviewed The Fort Terror Murders roughly a year ago. The wacky map included in the book caught my attention, as did the off-the-wall treasure hunt plot. That kind of pulp appeals to me a bit and brings back memories of the old books I used to stumble upon at my grandparent’s house when I was a kid. Mix in some sort of golden age murder mystery and I’m game.
There’s a lot to choose from when it comes to Van Wyck Mason. His library rivals the likes of Carr and Christie, although much of it seems to have focused on spy thrillers and adventure laden retellings of America’s bloody past. A tip I stumbled upon in the comment section of the review for The Fort Terror Murders was to keep an eye out for books with “murder” in the title from the 30’s – apparently that was the run where Van Wyck Mason was doing his mystery bit. While I struck out on finding an appealing copy meeting that criteria, I did snag this killer Handi Book Mystery edition of Spider House with a truly vintage cover.