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Friday, March 13, 2020

THE LAPD MUSEUM

THE LAPD MUSEUM
While touring the LAPD Museum yesterday. I came across a display with the above 20 gauge shotgun pistol officially carried (in that long ass holster) by LAPD's elite Robbery Homicide detectives in the 1950s. 

It is not a sawed-off or modified shotgun, it was actually manufactured as a pistol and legally retains that designation. I am now convinced more than ever that I was born in the wrong era.

The other two photos are of the museum's new Adam 12 and Dragnet displays...There were also a number of interesting real life collections such as the SLA shootout, the Onion Field assassination (still sobering after all these years), the North Hollywood bank robbery shootout where over 1,500 rounds were fired over a 45 minute period, and more...It's a small museum housed in the old Northeast Division police station built in 1925, but it's definitely worth visiting if you get the chance...

Monday, February 17, 2020

SIX-GUN JUSTICE PODCAST—EPISODE ONE

SIX-GUN JUSTICE PODCAST
EPISODE ONE
WEST OF THE IMAGINATION
The debut of the Six-Gun Justice Podcast Episode One with co-hosts Paul Bishop and Richard Prosch is available now on all major podcast platforms. This episode includes a feature on The Cowboy And The Cossack and Western wordslinger Clair Huffaker, reviews of current and vintage Westerns, a roundup of other Western genre related information, and shoutouts of appreciation to the folks who helped get the podcast in the saddle and galloping with six guns blazing.

Check back every other Monday for a new episode of the Six-Gun Justice Podcast with Paul and Rich discussing, sharing, and exploring all aspects of the Western genre. Also be sure to check out the Six-Gun Justice Podcast’s flagship website (www.sixgunjustice.com) for regularly updated reviews, interviews, features, profiles, and other Western genre related content.

You can also listen to Episode One using the link below or on the podcast player app at the top of our website sidebar. The Six-Gun Justice Podcast is available on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Podcasts, iHeart Radio, TuneIn Radio, Alexa, and most other podcasts apps.  Please let us know what you think via our email: sixgunjusticewesterns@gmail.com/ 

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

THE RICHARD PROSCH NEWSLETTER FEATURING DAN SPALDING


THE NEW DAN SPAULDING THRILLER
NEEDLE DROP
COMING FEBRUARY 19 
Stu Heinrichs was the kind of guy who drank beer with your dad and let you drive his DeLorean. He took you to baseball games and bought you lunch and didn't yell when you puked in his car. But he wasn’t a good guy then, and he’s not a good guy now—something ex-state cop Dan Spalding always knew but kept forgetting on purpose.

Now when a twenty-year old porn star takes a deliberate header off Stu’s luxury yacht with Dan as a witness, he’s caught in a web of murder and media outrage with more questions than answers.

Answers that just might leave Dan cold and dead at the bottom of Carnal Cove.

As the body count mounts, the blitz is on, and Dan Spalding puts his life, love, and passion for vintage vinyl records on the line in a wild gambit to blow up the past and gain a future.

TO PRE-ORDER CLICK COVER BELOW


A NEW FREE CRIME STORY
FROM RICHARD PROSCH
THE LUCK OF FRANKIE IRISH 
November 9, 1965: More than 53 years ago, my mom—six months pregnant with me—was stuck in JFK International Airport when the lights went out. Nobody expected the grid to be down for long, but the blackout stretched through the night into the next morning. At JFK, people drove cars up to the windows to shine headlamps into the terminal. Mom remembered a nice elderly couple who stood up and insisted she sleep on a bench while they watched over her.  The old guy rolled up his jacket as a pillow, and his wife shared her candy. Mom had several stories from that night, all good, all filled with the kindness and reasoned ingenuity of strangers. She never tired of telling about it. Me, I was in the dark anyway.

A few years ago I read Herbert Asbury’s terrific book, The Gangs of New York—which inspired a mid-century wiseguy character named Frankie. He bounced around between stories for a while until one day, I realized Frankie was at the airport on November 9.

I had to write the following story to find out why he was there. 

TO READ THE REST OF THE STORY
CLICK HERE

Monday, January 13, 2020

WESTERN PAPERBACKS—THE BIG FIFTY

WESTERN PAPERBACKS
THE BIG FIFTY
FRANK O'ROURKE 
With more than sixty novels to his credit, Frank O'Rourke (1916-1989) was an accomplished writer of mysteries and sports fiction. Arguably, he's best known for his gothic-tinged western paperback originals, stories at which he excelled. 


His work was adapted for the screen at least twice—The Bravados in 1957—starring Gregory Peck and Joan Collins, and A Mule for the Marquesa, which was film as The Professionals in 1966—starring Burt Lancaster, Lee Marvin, and Jack Palance. In the 50s and 60s, he turned out at least two westerns a year under his own name and pseudonyms, including Kevin Connor, Frank O'Malley, and Patrick O'Malley.

To say that O'Rourke worked in a time of literary transition is an understatement. Two World Wars had chopped away the early 20th century's Victorian values, clearing the way for a rush of moral relativism and jaded introspection. 

The slick magazines had little to do with flowery melodrama and a lot to do with tight, terse, prose echoing the anxiety of the day, a style that spilled over into the emerging world of genre paperbacks. 


What was glamor for the pulps seemed corny and out of touch, and the purple prose of old westerns became downright unsalable. O'Rourke walked the grubline between literary styles, which is clearly illustrated in his 1955 novel, The Big Fifty.


Falling somewhere between his 1953 novel Latigo— wordy land grab procedural—and 1957's The Bravados—an action-packed manhunt—The Big Fifty retains the romantic language of its predecessor while hinting at the complexity of character and action of the latter book. However, whereas The Bravados made a heart-thumping motion picture, The Big Fifty would only have made a nifty Poverty Row Saturday matinée.

The story takes place in 1878, already the end times for the grand buffalo hunts of yesteryear.  Old Colonel DeLight can see the writing on the wall. Not only have the thundering black herds been whittled down to near extinction, but the market itself has lost most of its honor. Rather than face the near impossible prospect of scraping out a messy, gut-wrenching living from acquiring their own hides, bad men simply steal from the few remaining good guys—sometimes with deadly consequences. 

Not only does Old (always Old) Colonel Delight suspect hes been a victim of one of the most notorious thieves of all, he believes big Jan Schmidt murdered his son. To learn the truth and bring the big villain to justice, Old Colonel Delight decides to infiltrate Schmidt's hunting party. Too sick to do the job himself, and rightly convinced Schmidt would recognize his hired man, Lance McGowen, the withered Confederate graybeard calls in a Yankee named True Benton. 


When names like Old Colonel Delight and True Benton are stated in full each time they appear in the narrative, you know you're in for some prose on the lower end of the color spectrum. Naturally, OCD has a lovely daughter (Celia) who Lance wants to wed.  As expected, she only has eyes for our hero, True Benton.

Left there, The Big Fifty might be relegated to the Max Brand/Zane Grey rip-offs of the ‘20s and ‘30s, but O'Rourke's genius pulls it to a higher level. He does this mostly through depth of character, but also by using his working knowledge of hunting and butchering bison.I

The book takes its name from the fifty-caliber rifle slugs the hunters use to harvest their animals, and spends a good amount of time describing the life lived by hide-dealers at what was the end of the 1870s, a controversial era. A few pages aren't for the squeamish, but it’s clear both True Benton and Jan Schmidt recognize the moral dilemma of their work, and lament the passing of the buffalo. These aren't callous men with no regrets. 

O'Rourke cleverly paints three-dimensional portraits of heroes and villains, both caught in time, both struggling with inner demons, both finding common ground with one another. It's this mutual respect that the author exploits so well. 

When the inevitable climax occurs, when True Benton's betrayal comes to light, its a heartbreaking revelation for everybody involved, including the reader. Dont misunderstand, Jan Schmidt deserves what he gets, but like so many of the post-war paperback villains, you're not necessarily happy to see him get it—satisfied, maybe, but not happy.

O'Rourke is always a solid writer who rarely phones it in, and with The Big Fifty he delivers a thought-provoking piece disguised as an old-fashioned oater.

Best Purple Prose: Her mouth was wide and full and alive, her hair clubbed up behind her ears. With tiny curls about the temples that shone in the candlelight, with the blackest of black, with ebony tints even deeper than black. She met True Benton's gaze with a sober nod and dignified silence, but remained beside her father in the few moments it took True Benton to see so much and wonder why her kind came but once in a man's lifetime; and then he recalled his situation and his manners.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

RICHARD PROSCH'S NEWSLETTER FEATURING DAN SPALDING


RICHARD PROSCH’S NEWSLETTER 
FEATURING DAN SPALDING  
In an age when we binge-watch our favorite TV shows via streaming services, it's easy to think in terms of story arcs and seasons. Last fall, Wolfpack Publishing assumed the helm of my Dan Spalding mystery series, publishing Dead Beat and Deep Tracks, the fifth and sixth series titles, as part of their Dan Spalding Mystery Collections. 

VOLUME ONE and VOLUME TWO are both available in economical digital formats. And now, for the first time in January of 2020, all six of my original Dan Spalding novels are also available in print.

Each of the stories can stand by itself as a suspenseful read, but taken together, Answer Death through Deep Tracks forms a six-part arc—or season—with recurring characters, romantic cliffhangers, and plenty of action. 

And stay tuned for the first Tuesday in February and the cover debut and first chapter sneak peek for the seventh Dan Spalding novel, a 70K-word epic called Needle Drop.

CAPITOL OFFENSE IN DOWN & OUT MAGAZINE 

My new short police procedural, Capitol Offense was published at the end of 2019, in Vol. 2, Issue No. 1 of Down & Out Magazine. I'm happy to join Brendan DuBois, Walter Satterthwait, Edgar Award-winning author Sylvia Maultash Warsh, and others in this terrific issue. 

AMAZON
DOWN AND OUT BOOKS

FREE CRIME STORY
FOOL ME TWICE

As he entered the flow of traffic streaming around Omaha, Dr. Dale Martin was not in a hurry. Soft jazz floated through the beige cabin of his Toyota Camry, and the air through the dashboard vents was cool and clean-smelling. He wore prescription sunglasses, a crisp white business shirt, and casual khaki trousers. His jacket rode behind him on a hanger. The mid-afternoon sun flickered through the trees on his right, and Dale hummed along with a tenor sax on the radio. His tires on the road were a brush-like percussion. The car ahead of him rolled smoothly into a line of commuter traffic.
Sandy was in that car.
With him—Ernie the fleabag... 
READ THE REST OF THE STORY HERE