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The Black Star

Johnston McCulley

Book Overview: 

The Black Star was a master criminal who took great care to never be identifiable, always wore a mask so nobody knew what he looked like, rarely spoke to keep his voice from being recognized, and the only mark left at the scenes of the crimes which he and his gang committed were small black stars which were tacked as a sign of their presence, and an occasional sarcastic note to signify his presence and responsibility. Even those who worked for him knew nothing of him, all of which were making his crimes virtually unsolvable. The police were at a complete loss as to his identity and at a method of stopping his criminal activities. He seemed to have the perfect strategic setup and all advantages were in his favor. He even somehow knew where the wealthy kept their jewels and money, and knew when they would remove valuable items from their safes and deposit boxes. Thus Roger Verbeck decided to take on the case of the Black Star using his own methodology. The Black Star will keep you guessing from beginning to end, just as he kept the police and Verbeck guessing.

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Book Excerpt: 
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CHAPTER VII—IDENTICAL ORDERS

Eight o’clock that night found Roger Verbeck in the Black Star’s headquarters, the room put in order, and the candles burning. He was sitting at the end of the long table, in robe and mask, and with the little rubber stamps he was busy writing out orders. All the orders were identical; the ones previously written by the Black Star had been destroyed.

Promptly at nine o’clock the little bell on the wall tinkled, and Verbeck, shutting the drawer in the table and holding his automatic in readiness beneath his robe, went to the wall and pressed the button that opened the door. He hurried from the room, and waited.

Presently he entered again, to find a masked and robed figure standing before the blackboard. Number and countersign were given, and Verbeck handed the man his orders and a twenty-dollar bill taken from the drawer in the table. The man bowed and went out.

Nine-thirty brought another man,. . . Read More

Community Reviews

A wonderful crime-adventure book from the creator of the famous The Mark of Zorro!

The Black Star by Johnston McCulley is a story of good versus evil. Like many thirty-cent novels written and published in the first half of the Twentieth Century, it is a conglomerate of Sherlock Holms, Batman and The Keystone Cops. The story reads as a poorly written, low budgeted black and white m

The Black Star, fights his nemesis, the dashing millionaire amateur detective, Roger Verbeck, and his sidekick, Muggs. Jewels are at stake, and the identity of a woman who may or may not be in cahoots with The Black Star. The plot moves along at an even pace.

Excellent adventure and enjoyable reading by Roger Melin .

Apparently this is a collection of several of the first pulp stories McCulley wrote featuring the villain The Black Star. I enjoyed the adventures and will likely seek out more of them.

This is by the author of the Zorro series. I was quite impressed with the first Zorro book which was quite a good adventure novel. The same talent is displayed in this book.

The Black Star is the master crook who brags of his prowess in letters to the police and newspaper and has pulled of countless

Adventurous criminal excitement by the creator of Zorro...more

Johnston McCulley outdid himself on this one. A master of the Robin Hood type hero, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, McCulley starts out with a villain much like these, only this one keeps all the loot for himself.

The villain is captured by another clever man, only to find that to tur

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