Speed Saunders gets the story I like the most from his run in Detective 21 (Nov 38). He has to solve the murder of a writer who was exposing gangsters. The woman appears to have been killed by a poisoned drink, but Speed figures out it was in her cigarette.
Thoughout Buck Marshall’s run, the sheriff of Sage City, where many of Buck’s tales brought him, was never called anything other than Sheriff. In this story, he gets a deputy, who is only ever called Deputy.
The Deputy eventually turns out to be the mastermind behind the bad guys. I believe he was frustrated at his lack of name and so he turns to the dark side and used his position of power to run the largest rustling operation in the region.
Bart and Sally are ordered to become double agents in this Spy tale, by Siegel and Shuster. They are to give harmless and misleading information to Baron Von Muldorf. They fulfill this task, but once the Baron realizes he has been used, he seeks revenge.
The story gets far more intense at this point, Sally almost getting shot, and the brake lines on their car being cut. Still, our heroes triumph, and embrace at the end.
Many Crimson Avenger stories would begin like the one in this issue, with the first panel a close-up of a newspaper, the headline of which would be the basis for the story. We also meet Miss Stevens, Lee Travis’ secretary at the newspaper.
The plot has to do with the Crimson Avenger (called simply Crimson in this, and other tales) breaking up a group of criminals who hang out in the city’s cemetery. Apparently the cops find that too creepy to go in and do anything about them. At the end, the police find the bound felons, with a note the Avenger left claiming responsibility, but they still don’t trust him.
Steve Malone gets a call informing him that Big Jim has been killed, though he finds him barely alive, and has to fish him out of a river. Ferrini was part of an opium smuggling mob, and they are seeking vengeance, but Steve tracks down and captures them all.
Neither Big Jim nor Jeanne appears again, and I think it’s safe to say Jim dies of his injuries, and I think Jeanne leaves afterwards, so upset about Jim dying, they must have had something going on.