How could you not like a novel featuring the likes of Walter Gibson and Lester Dent (chief scribes of The Shadow and Doc Savage, respectively), a pre-Dianetics L. Ron Hubbard, Robert Heinlein, Louis L'Amour, Chester Himes, and the re-animated corpse of H.P. Lovecraft? The answer is, you CAN'T. An affectionate, well-crafted tribute to these masters of pulp fiction, The Chinatown Death Cloud Peril is a book that wears its heart on its sleeve, a crackling good yarn brimming with non-stop action, warm humor and casual mayhem.
The year is 1937. The aforementioned authors travel to Providence, Rhode Island, to attend the funeral of fellow writer Howard Philip Lovecraft. Their presence at that somber affair marks the beginning of a perilous adventure for the group, as they become embroiled in a deadly scheme that involves Chinese warlords and a mysterious toxic gas, developed by the United States at the end of World War I. Exhibiting many of the traits they attribute to their heroes, they risk their lives to prevent tragedy, simultaneously gathering useful fodder for future stories.
You don't need to be a fan of the pulps to enjoy this one, but it sure enhances the experience. Fans of high adventure will also delight in cameos by, among others, the fictional Joe Kavelier, and the very real Jack Kirby and Stan Lee. Malmont expertly blends fact with fiction, recalling the outstanding work that Max Allan Collins has done recently in his series of historical disaster novels, one of which, The War of the Worlds Murder, also featured Walter Gibson.