Jul 9, 2012
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

The Shadow – Who Knows What Evil Lurks in the Hearts of Men?

The ShadowHe Knew. The Man in Black. The Shadow.

The Shadow first saw life in 1930 as the narrator for the Detective Story Hour, a radio show that was devised to boost sales for the pulp magazines printed by Street and Smith Publications.

The narrator, voiced first by James LaCurto, and later by Frank Readick, possessed a sinister, dark persona crafted to foster a feeling of suspense and anticipation. The names “the Inspector,” and “the Sleuth” were proposed, but is was scriptwriter Harry Engman Charlot who struck gold.

The Shadow.

Though Street and Smith planned to use the mysterious figure to boost sales to its miscellaneous detective stories, the opposite proved to be true. Legions of the radio shows’ fans turned up at newsstands asking for nonexistent issues of “The Shadow” magazine.
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Jul 7, 2012
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Taco Noir – Solve “The Case of the Biting Spice” at The Spice Tin this Friday the 13th at 2:30PM!

Taco NoirYou hear the sounds of footfalls outside of The Spice Tin on North Algiers Street, but as you turn, you see only shadows.

You look to your companion to make sure that you weren’t just imagining the sounds, but your friend is gone, and you are alone in the narrow street.

You can still hear the sounds of footfalls, but now they intermingle with the sounds of laughter, discussion, and a movie soundtrack.

The air around you comes alive as your feet guide you to the door of a nearby shop, where mystery fills the air.

And also coriander, dill, and… well, you get the picture.

Kick off your weekend at the Spice Tin on Friday, July 13th, at 2:30PM to hear local mystery author and make-believe Private Eye Steven Gomez read from his new book Taco Noir.

The case begins with a screening of selected mystery shorts, followed by author reading, as well as samples of the chili recipe from the story. Both spice packets and signed copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Jun 19, 2012
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Hugh B. Cave – King of the Pulps

hugh b cave

(Photo Credit: VintageLibrary.com)

You gotta pity the poor souls who lived next door to guys like Hugh B. Cave.  Typewriter keys hammering away around the clock, nonstop, for days on end, the sound often banging through cheap, paper-thin walls.

If you were creating a mood with someone from the fairer sex, then you might want to break a finger or two of the writer, and if you were nursing a hang-over, then no court in the land would call it homicide. Still the typing never stopped. It couldn’t. These guys made their living at two cents a word!

The golden age of pulp magazines were the twenties and the thirties, when the industrial revolution was in full throttle and literacy was at an all-time high in the US. Before World War II, and before television, the average Joe was hungry for things to read.

Multiple editions of newspapers were the norm, and breaking news called for special editions. Paper, especially cheap pulped paper, was plentiful, and speculative fiction was everywhere, even in big-named magazines like Ladies Home Journal and the Saturday Evening Post.

The real bread-and-butter for mystery and suspense stories, however, were the pulps, and this was where the writers of the day learned their stock in trade.
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Jun 12, 2012
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Local Shamus Steven Gomez to Sign Copies of Taco Noir this Sunday at Angels Camp Mercantile

Steven Gomez Noir Factory Taco NoirHear the “Case of the Awkward High Note” over ice cream on Father’s Day!

Copperopolis resident and make believe detective Steven Gomez will be at Angel Camp Mercantile on Sunday, June 17th from 1-3PM reading from his new book, Taco Noir, Tales of Culinary Crime.

Steve will be presenting a mixed-media reading, signing copies of his book, and hosting a question-and-answer session.

Join Angels Camp Mercantile for this unique Father’s Day event. Dad will also get a free scoop of ice cream!

Jun 8, 2012
Steve Gomez - Chief Investigator

Taco Noir – The Case of The Awkward High Note Casts a Long Shadow Over the Town of Murphys!

No fatalities reported

The sounds of a deliberate jazz baseline heralded in the first of a series of literary offenses to be perpetrated by the make-believe detective agency known as the Noir Factory. A small but cozy mob welcomed mystery writer and Chief Investigator Steven Gomez. As he took the stage, Gomez welcomed his accomplices to the scene as they enjoyed microbrew pilsners and Black Sheep Zinfandel.

taco noirAs the dedicated crew at Alchemy served up sinfully rich Crab Macaroni and Cheese, crispy fried Calamari, and fresh Prawns, the scribe from the Noir Factory unfolded the Case of the Awkward High Note from the debut of Taco Noir, Tales of Culinary Crime.

After the reading, guests were treated to the first Taco Noir raffle, with the grand prize, a reproduction of the Maltese Falcon, going to a longtime supporter and friend of the agency. Reports of any curse on the statue have not been substantiated.

taco noir the gorillaThe evening concluded with a screening of The Gorilla, a classic comedy who-done-it featuring Bela Lugosi, the Ritz Brothers, and a gorilla suit. The movie, a power-house in its day, is considered by the Noir Factory to be the “Citizen Kane” of gorilla suit comedy who-done-its.

Gomez thanked his guests as they left, shutting down the café as they did so. As the last of his accomplices left the building, the staff locked up and began to count the silverware. As the agency loaded up their wagon and moved back to HQ, Gomez remarked that it they had indeed not seen the last of him.

(Destroy this post if arrested)

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