A good pulp tale is difficult to pass up.
Make it a pulp tale with a drop-dead gorgeous heroine and it’s a case of grabbing it and jumping into the story of derring do.
Which brings me to Domino Lady: Money Shot by Bobby Nash.
Like all good pulps Domino Lady is a quick read filled with action. You should desire no more as a pulp fan, and expect no less either. Nash accomplishes both with a character with a definite ‘past’.
“The Domino Lady was a masked pulp heroine who first appeared in the May 1936 issue of Saucy Romantic Adventures. All of her stories were published under the house name "Lars Anderson" owned by the publisher, Fiction Magazines. The author's real identity is unknown,” relates Wikipedia.
“Saucy Romantic Adventures was a "spicy pulp" magazine, a genre that typically featured semi-pornographic short stories. Though writers for these were paid less, the cover price was higher than that of a typical pulp magazine. This was due to a combination of smaller print runs and what the traffic would bear. Such magazines were usually sold "under the counter" upon request.”
Nash however has taken what may be a subtler approach to Domino. He leaves no doubt the gal is beautiful, and dresses to use her looks to advantage, but the book is very general audience in terms of sexuality.
That leaves the story more squarely based in Domino being a sort of Robin Hood anti-hero.
“The Domino Lady is really University of California, Berkeley-educated socialite Ellen Patrick. When her father, District Attorney Owen Patrick, is murdered she puts on a domino mask and a backless white dress to avenge him. She would arm herself with a .45 pistol and a syringe full of knockout serum, but often her best weapon was her beauty, which often distracted and entranced opponents, or at the very least led them to underestimate her, allowing her to outwit them. Such wiles rarely worked upon her female adversaries however,” again from Wikipedia for background.
“She steals from her targets, donating most of the profits to charity after deducting her cut, and leaves a calling card with the words "Compliments of the Domino Lady”.”
As a light read, Money Shot is a great romp, but I was left wondering what drew Nash to a long ago-established character like Domino?
“I’ve written a few other Domino Lady stories for Moonstone Books before this one in both short story and comic book form. Joe Gentile over at Moonstone knew of my fondness for thrillers and asked if I had any interest in writing a 1930’s pulpy political thriller with Domino Lady. I said yes on the spot,” he said in an interview.
“It was just too cool an idea to pass up.”
As a modest scribe myself, I have always thought writing an existing character would create added challenges to the writer, but Nash said that was not really the case with Domino Lady.
“Not really. I already knew the character from my previous times writing her and I think she’s incredible so I already “hear” her voice when I write,” he said. “When I first wrote the character back in the Domino Lady: Sex As A Weapon anthology a few years back, I re-read the original Domino Lady stories from the 1930’s, there are six total. One of the few recurring antagonists was a guy named Rob Wyatt. Wyatt was a big game hunter turned movie star. In one of the stories, he mentions his ambition to one day become governor of California. When I wrote “target: Domino Lady” for the Domino Lady: Sex As A Weapon anthology, I had Rob Wyatt make an appearance and mentioned that he is actively campaigning. That became a little easter egg I would toss into stories from time to time, a little nod to the fans of the originals.
“When the offer to write a political thriller with Domino Lady happened, I knew what story I had to tell.”
It helped too that Nash is infatuated with the gal behind the mask.
“I adore this character,” he said. “Not only is Ellen Patrick beautiful and powerful and sexy, but she’s also extremely smart. Domino Lady is often noted for the way she dresses and the saucy nature of her stories, but at the heart of them is that she outsmarts her enemies. The fact that she writes these letters to the bad guys and lets them know exactly how she’s going to take them down and then doing even though they’re on guard against her is amazing and so much fun to play with in the story.
“Plus, she’s not afraid to shoot the dirty ^&^&^&^& if they need it.”
In Money Shot, Nash does leave a few threads dangling at the end. ones not neatly tied away by the conclusion of the tale, which in part is a tad unsatisfying, and also exciting as it seems prime for a sequel.
“I wouldn’t rule it out,” said Nash. “There are more Domino Lady stories coming from me. Together with New York Times Best Selling Author Nancy Holder, I’m working on a new Domino Lady team up comic book series for Moonstone. That should be out in 2015. As for more Domino Lady novels, who knows? I’d certainly be up for more. I’ll throw that one out to the readers. If you want more of these, please let Moonstone know.”
The initial response has been positive, noted the author.
“So far so good,” said Nash. “It’s only been out a short time and has just reached stores and on-line retailers, but the feedback I’ve received so far has been pretty positive. I’m hoping readers will get a kick out of the story.”
Money Shot also gives readers a little bonus, which simply adds value in terms of fun.
“Also included in this book is The Golden Amazon novella, “Ripper, Burning Bright” by the late Howard Hopkins. The decision to include Howard’s tale in this edition was the publishers so I really didn’t have any input there, but I’m happy to have it included as it is a great story,” explained Nash. “Not only was Howard a truly gifted writer, but he was a good friend who was taken from us way too soon. Plus, The Golden Amazon will appear in the new team-up book Nancy and I are writing so there’s a tie there. Domino Lady and Golden Amazon are friends and we will see them together again.”
You can find Domino Lady: Money Shot at www.moonstonebooks.com