Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Kill Me In Yoshiwara

Burns Bannion #5: “Kill Me In Yoshiwara” by Earl Norman (Norman Thompson). When Mrs. Oaba responds to Bannion’s newspaper add for a private detective, he heads for the village of Katsu where he learns the lady wants him to find her older daughter, Kazuko, who is missing. However, stopping at a Japanese castle he thinks is abandoned, he finds the body of a girl murdered by a karate blow. He doesn’t tell Mrs. Oaba that he has already found her daughter. Now, trying to figure how to let the woman know Kazuko is dead, the local police find the body and suspect – Burns Bannion of the deed. Here we have another nice tale of karate action, and our hero barely survives in one piece, but in the end is left on the mat with the younger daughter, Hiroka.  My copy is the ERLE edition, published in Japan, and it is filled with typos. Hedges is still Johnny-on-the-spot, and we still don’t know exactly what he is, but probably CIA. Inspector Ezawa appears to be a little more lenient with P.I. Burns Bannion staying in Japan under false pretenses. 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Kill Me In Shinjuku

Burns Bannion #4: “Kill Me In Shinjuku” by Earl Norman (Norman Thompson).  Bannion’s old newspaper (AKA CIA) buddy, Hedges sends him to help an Australian stripper playing the Shinjuku clubs. From Ginger Peaches, he hears a strange story about a street peddler and missing time (along with an important love letter). From the girl’s apartment, he’s sapped over the head and dropped from the top of a fence, and in a daze, hears a voice inform him that he will soon die. Next he visits his karate instructor and runs into Inspector Ezawa, who tells him a similar story about the wife of a diplomat meeting a strange street seller. There’s one cute chapter where Bannion enters a supposedly haunted abandoned Army firing range, then crawls through a small tunnel below ground in a death trap. The case actually stems from a previous story, and his killing of a gang lord in that adventure. This one has a nice twist at the end, however. Very good.