Pulp Press boasts a line of pocket-sized crime novellas, whose gritty fast-paced revenge plots, pulp cover art, and fabricated torn edges, are designed with a worthwhile goal in mind towards recapturing the nostalgia for the dime novel and pulp’s golden-era. Their motto: “Turn off your T.V. and discover fiction like it used to be…”
One such novella, Danny Hogan’s “Killer Tease”, sets the standard for the kind of reputation Pulp Press seeks. A bare bones revenge story about an aging burlesque dancer named Eloise Murphy, the title lives up to what the Pulp Press line is about. Initially the target of a diabolical revenge scheme, she manages to turn the tables instead. In her long career as a dancer (which, apparently, is not the same as stripping!), Murphy has earned a tough-as-nails reputation and as many enemies.
The story is fast in the very beginning when Murphy loses yet another dancing gig, then kind of plods along as she tries to figure out her next move, then quickly picks back up again when she is offered to work for a shady, unscrupulous character named Napoleon Hammerstein. In fact, outside of her mate Hunter and her cat Sinatra, there is (literally) no-one that can be trusted in this story. The best part of the book is when it is revealed to Murphy on entering the dance stage that she has been tricked by Hammerstein to in fact perform for all the men she has ever beaten over the years. That aha moment when the men begin clamoring on stage to exact their revenge is truly exceptional.