IVOR DRUMMOND – The Necklace of Skulls. Jennifer Norrington, Alessandro di Ganzarello, Coleridge Tucker III #7. St. Martin’s Press, US, hardcover, 1977. Dell, US, paperback, 1980 (shown). First published in the UK by Michael Joseph, hardcover, 1977.

   Even today India is large enough and mysterious enough to be the scene of a revived cult of religious fanatics called Thugs, whose sole mission of Earth is to kill other men on behalf of their goddess Kali. The three intrepid adventurers, Colly, Sandro and Jenny, stumble into the worst of what’s going on, and it takes many close calls before they manage their escape, but not before thousands of people in India die, nearly unnoticed in an impoverished land strangled by overpopulation.

   Although the last true pulp magazines expired twenty or so years ago. the kind of breathless romantic adventure fiction that monopolized their now discolored and musty pages can obviously still be found. Modernized, of course, and told by authors with more skill and more time for polishing their work, but it can always be recognized whenever a story is told for the pure fun of it.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 1, No. 6, November 1977 (slightly revised).

      The Colly, Sandro and Jenny series —

1. The Man With The Tiny Head (1969)
2. The Priests Of The Abomination (1970)
3. The Frog In The Moonflower (1972)
4. The Jaws Of The Watchdog (1973)
5. The Power Of The Bug (1974)
6. Tank Of Sacred Eels (1976)
7. The Necklace Of Skulls (1977)
8. A Stench Of Poppies (1978)
9. The Diamonds Of Loretta (1980)