Good Morning and Happy Monday! Today we are having coffee and reviewing with James Teel Glenn’s book, Headline Ghouls. This was a cute collection of stories that through back to a time of old Hollywood and journalism that strode the line of ethical and not so much. Be sure to check out my whole review after the book blurb.
Reporter Moxie Donovan has followed his actor-wife to Hollywood and taken a job as a studio flack, but he hasn’t lost his eye for a story… and Hollywood is full of stories. It’s 1938, Hitler rules Germany and is supporting U.S. Nazi groups, the studio system is in full force, America still suffers from the Great Depression, and hard-boiled reporter heroes are the order of the day. Written in the “pulp” style with over-the-top characters, bizarre situations that combine mystery, nazis and the occult, the hard-charging reporter hero, and plenty of fists, guns and drinking.
This collection of “pulp” like stories almost reads like a Dick Tracy comic. With quite a few differences but the idea is there. We follow Moxie and his wife Maxi as they snoop out stories from Nazi’s to voodoo priestesses. This is definitely a fun throwback novel paying homage to the type of journalism that flourished in the time of the Depression and pre-World War II. I really enjoyed the back and forth between Moxie and Maxi. I thought they were both good foils for one another. It seems like they could definitely find trouble under the most benign rock. The colorful characters that came through the stories also help to grab the attention of the reader. Though I enjoyed this collection I felt the over the top language and lingo of the time was a bit much. That made it feel more like a comic than part of a novel. Also, I would have loved to have seen just one of these stories a bit more in-depth and made into a full novel. There is definitely the capability there and James Teel Glenn has the talent. Overall, I felt this was a cute collection of stories and would recommend this to anyone who enjoys a good adventure back to Hollywood’s heyday and Journalism’s time to really press the envelope.