House Of The Hatchet

Tandem Horror & Witchcraft paperbacks 1964-1975

Archive for November, 2009

Nick Carter In Tandem

Posted by demonik on November 25, 2009

Not exactly horror fiction i realise (though The Mind Killers has potential), but the covers of the Nick Carter Tandem editions were entertaining enough to deserve a mention in dispatches.

1970, and after a century of adulthood spent in monastic celibacy, veteran crime buster and spy-catcher Nick Carter made a crucial discovery; women have other virtues beyond typing and being kidnapped on a regular basis. One instant makeover later, and sex-crazed babe-magnet Nick was going about his business with such enthusiasm that it infected even the most minor players in his adventures until they spilled over onto the covers of his 37, 000 Tandem paperbacks. Inevitably, this meant lots of dressing up in fancy costumes and it took them a while to get it right.

You can’t help but feel sorry for the bloke doing a runner. He’s got his pose spot on, the cameraman’s given him the thumbs up, he’s all set to seize the moment before cramp sets in ….. and a passing hitchhiker spots a van-load of passing peaceniks, sticks out a leg and completely ruins the shot.

Fair enough, she’s had the good grace to unbutton her shirt, but this young lady is otherwise far too unglamorously attired for a situation of this magnitude and if she’s not going to make an effort, she deserves everything that’s coming her way if you ask me. Unfortunately, that won’t be an awful lot by the looks of it as the evil boffins who scientifically programmed her captor clearly neglected to prepare for such an eventuality arising.

Miss Scruffbag could do worse than take tips from the impeccable AXE agent Tanya, heroine of The Mark Of The Costra Nostra. Tanya’s not merely a snappy dresser, either. Once she’s through showing this Mafia Suit where to get off, it’s away to help Nick escape his “inescapable death”! Actually, this may not be Tanya at all and maybe that’s Nick with his face squashed against the window? i can’t really help you because i’ve only read the blurb, but whoever she’s supposed to be, she’s OK in my book.

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Charles Birkin – Dark Menace

Posted by demonik on November 15, 2009

Charles Birkin – Dark Menace (Tandem, 1968)


Dark Menace
Happy As Larry
The Jungle
The Life Giver
‘Don’ t Ever Leave Me’
The Yellow Dressing Gown
Waiting for Trains
The Lord God Made Them All
The Accessory
Simple Simon
Siren Song

includes perhaps his grimmest war story after the nororious ‘A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts’, Waiting For Trains:  “Would the horror of this war, even in its aftermath, never end?”

Dresselberg. At the close of WWII, George Barrow, a reluctant railway transport officer in the occupying army, is powerless to prevent a train crossing the border into Soviet territory due, in part, to the indifference of his superiors who can’t be bothered to check one of the prisoner’s credentials for fear of causing a diplomatic incident. The cattle trucks are crammed with young Russian immigrants who’d been conscripted into the German army and are therefore “traitors”. When the train reaches Glenheisen they will be killed and buried in a mass grave, as have so many before them. Depressingly, this one is even bereft of the “relax – it’s only a story” get-out clause.

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