NICK CARTER (*) – The Doomsday Formula. Award A420X, paperback original; 1st printing, 1969.

   You can chalk this one up to curiosity – mine. After reading the last two more recently published books (**), I was wondering if they were really as bad as I thought they were, compared to the same sort of thing being written twenty years ago, or if I was just in a bad mood, or what. Answer: they are.

   Nick Carter goes to Hawaii in this one, trying to prevent the destruction of the 50th state in a huge volcanic explosion. The resulting adventure is fast-moving, with lots of holes in the plot, which is absolutely unbelievable. The difference, believe it or not, is that Nick is likable. (***)

– Reprinted from Mystery.File.6, June 1988.


(*) Or in this case, Jon Messmann.

(**) Mission Bay Murder, by Philip Carlton Williams, and The Last Private Eye, by John Birkett. (See Comment #1.)

(***) Or competent. Not too much to ask.