Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Dead Men Kill” as Want to Read:
Dead Men Kill
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Dead Men Kill

3.17  ·  Rating Details  ·  379 Ratings  ·  138 Reviews
When several of the city's most respected citizens are inexplicably killed by what appear to be zombies, all Detective Terry Lane has to go on is a blue grey glove, a Haitian pharmacy bill for some very unusual drugs and a death threat from a mysterious stranger.Matters are soon complicated when a beautiful nightclub singer shows up who claims to have information that coul ...more
Kindle Edition, 144 pages
Published March 2nd 2010 by Galaxy Press LLC (first published September 30th 2006)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Dead Men Kill, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Dead Men Kill

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,324)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
There's not much to say about this one. It's a hacky pulp that shows its "paid by the word" petticoats with shameless repetition of dialogue and plot recap. But it moves along without stopping, there's plenty of action, a mad(ish) scientist bad guy, and a Sledge Riprock type of hero dealing out the punches and snappy comebacks.

A good way to spend an hour.
EZRead eBookstore
Jan 26, 2011 EZRead eBookstore rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jenifer-reviews
As pulpy and fictiony as pulp fiction can be, “Dead Men Kill” has everything. Femme fatale? Check. Hard-boiled, lucky, and crazy hunky lead detective? Check. Billions of flying bullets? Also check. It’s a throw-back to a time when all conversations came in one-liners, and night clubs were full of disguised henchmen. Was it just me or did the leader of the nightclub band shoot at the detective? The thing that really sets “Dead Men Kill” apart from other mystery/noir adventures is zombies. Yes, th ...more
Books like Dead Men Kill are pretty much made to be listened to. In the style of old 1950's radio plays the audiobook is executed very well. There are different people doing the voices and various sound effects which bring the story to life and really makes it feel like the time period. This audio version is only two hours long and it moves at a swift pace.

Recently with the start of this summer I have been listening to a lot of old radio plays in the form of podcasts on my iPod. There are a ton
Apr 24, 2013 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before seeing this book (and other similar books) on the shelf, I had no idea that L. Ron Hubbard had written pulp fiction. I honestly only knew about him peripherally as the writer of Dianetics and founder of the Church of Scientology. Since I never really had any interest in either of those, I never bothered to learn more. So I was surprised to find that he had a number of pulp adventure stories like Dead Men Kill.

Based on the cover and the blurb, I was anticipating something akin to the actio
Aug 19, 2012 Josh rated it it was ok
Shelves: own, pulp, kindle, read_2012
A zombie infused pulp that felt very dated but still semi appealing for fans of the genre. Hubbard blends elements of the supernatural with the trashy detective fiction of the golden age of dime store novels to form a pulp that lacks substance yet maintains the reader interest through the whodunit nature of the plot.

The dialogue was repetitive and characters mostly two dimensional with very little distinguishing one from another. As a result I found it difficult to care much about the outcome or
Jul 11, 2013 Leila rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In the 1930s and 1940s, readers read pulp fiction - rough cut, pulpwood paper that held stories. Pulp fiction authors were considered no-holds barred entertainers and real storytellers that were interested in thrilling plot twists, horrific villains or white knuckle adventure.

Dead Men Kill was a short read - literally a matter of a few hours over two nights. (It didn't help that I found it to be quite a page turner.)

I loved the story. It wasn't your typically zombie story and it held thrill and
Nov 10, 2013 Craig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published in the July, 1934, issue of THRILLING DETECTIVE MAGAZINE, Galaxy Press has reprinted this novella in the mystery category of their Hubbard series. I would have labeled it as a horror title (zombies, right?), and thought it would have been equally at home in an issue of WEIRD TALES in its time. It's a squeaky and creaky old-fashioned tale, a little silly in spots, as pulpish as can be, and I really enjoyed it. It would have been a wonderful old black-and-white noir hard-boile ...more
Free audiobook download from

Kind of reminded me a little of those old CBS Mystery Radio plays. The audio version had a few different narrators, music, and sound effects. The story itself was a little predictable but fun to listen to in small spurts.
Mary Overton
Perhaps the Scientologists are trying to raise money by selling reprints of L. Ron Hubbard's pulp fiction. With each copy of this free book is a postage paid reply card for the 80 titles of "Stories from the Golden Age" book club,, all of them by L. Ron Hubbard and so badly written they are hilarious.

"Inspector Leonard rushed from his desk into the squad room and spotted Detective-Sergeant Terry Lane. 'Lane! Snap into it. Gordon's been murdered and I think it's a clue o
Lu Patterson
Apr 10, 2013 Lu Patterson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was attracted by the title of this book, which is weird given that it has the word "kill" in it LOL
In my head the title echoed of recent TV shows, like "Supernatural" or "The Walking Dead" and I was spot on, with zombies and situations that cannot happen in real life, but will make you wonder....what if???

What I loved about this book was first and foremost the pagination, as it was divided in chapters instead of being a one piece novel like "The Iron Duke" and that made it easier for me to t
Read 10/19/11 - 10/21/11
3 Stars - Recommended for readers familiar w/ pulp fiction
Pgs: 95

Funny story. On the first morning of BEA, as soon as we were given the "go-ahead" to enter the expo floor, as I made my way around the right hand corner of the vendor booths, Galaxy Press stopped me in my tracks and began aggressively pitching me L. Ron Hubbard's books.

Upon hearing the name, I inwardly cringed... "Oh no," I thought to myself, "They are going to try to Scientologize me. Run... run and don't l
This is not a book I would suggest reading at night if you get spooked easily. At times I let my imagination run wild and at night time, reading scary stories, I can get pretty nervous. I have to say that Dead Men Kill was really awesome as it combined horror and mystery which I love.
The writing style was really good. It’s different to the kinds of books I usually read and so I find it to be quite a nice change of pace.
The story itself had the ability to keep me sucked in. I felt like there was
Cynthia Lachapelle Shannon
As a die-hard zombie fan, I'm always looking for another film or novel to whet my zombie-loving appetite. Best selling American pulp fiction author L. Rob Hubbard introduces a unique perspective on the walking dead, setting his story, "Dead Men Kill," in the Golden Age of the 1930s. Originally published in a 1934 issue of the pulp fiction magazine, Thrilling Detective, "Dead Men Kill" follows Terry Lane, a police detective, through the most spine-tingling and dangerous investigation of his life. ...more
Heather Pearson
I had purposely avoided reading anything by L. Ron Hubbard due to his quasi religion. I couldn't separate the man from his religion. When Audible offered a free audio book download of Dead Men Kill, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to determine whether there is any basis for my stance. I'm happy to say, that in this case, there isn't.

Dead Men Kill is a police based mystery story. Detective Terry Lane must find the perpetrator of several murders where all evidence points to recently
Well, the writing isn't exactly what you'd call top-notch or literary, and it's even a bit ropey by the standards of the magazines of the day -- not precise Argosy material, this. However, it *is* a solid pulp outing, taking a cue from the few zombie films of the thirties, and even being a little more accurate than later zombie stories would be (in that zombies really are people infused with a cocktail of drugs, with a layer of mumbo-jumbo slathered on) although the notion of the zombiefied turn ...more
Sep 30, 2015 Charli rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
Don't believe the rumors or everything you read about Dead Men Kill - it isn't campy, it isn't pulpy, and it isn't obviously paid-by-the-word rubbish. I've seen all of these terms used to describe the story, but those aren't it.

Is it old? Of course it is - it was originally published in Thrilling Detective Magazine in 1934. But that's one of the things that makes this story great. It doesn't have all the techno-babble that is so prevalent in today's stories. Are there zombies? Yep, but with a su
I received a free audio copy from the goodreads giveaway, and I'm glad it was an audio copy! I am sure I would have liked it much less if I actually had to read it, but it was decent background entertainment while working on odd projects. This is definitely everything you'd imagine it would be--ridiculous, cheesy, dated, predictable entertainment. I think audio is really the only way it would work for me, for that radio-show feel about it.
Randee Baty
Pure pulp fiction. If that's what you like, you'll love this and the CD is well done with good voice actors.

Rich men are dying and Detective Lane is looking into the murders. There is a beautiful woman, a criminal mastermind and plenty of action. The twists and turns are fairly predictable but that didn't ruin the story for me. There is very much the feel of Old Time Radio in this recording.

Since it is very much of it's time, there is some small amount of racism and chauvinism in it. Most peop
Mar 08, 2014 Sarah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
View my review on Booklikes or Leafmarks.
William Redd
Here is another giveaway win from the Goodreads First Reads program, and another audio book from "the Golden Age" and L. Ron Hubbard's. Hubbard writes some good pulp, you have to admit, and this is another entry in that ilk. Smooth-talking detective Terry Lane is investigating a serious of vicious crimes against the city's most respected citizens. All signs point to their personal secretaries, men who all died previous to the commission of the crime! What follows is a macabre, pulp tale of murde ...more
Jan 12, 2014 Shirley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was fascinated by the title. Little did I expect L. Ron Hubbard to write a tale of Haitian inspired zombies. That is such a contemporary topic for writers. Junior High students frequently request zombie novels and very few that are published are appropriate for a younger audience. Dead Men Kill would definitely appeal to this age group and as an adult I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I would love the get a hardbound copy of the book because this story would have great kid-appeal. I think reluctant read
Doug Warren
Jan 02, 2015 Doug Warren rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this purely out of morbid curiosity. I wanted to see what L. Ron could do besides making up sham religions, and Battlefield Earth was way too long to read. Up front I gotta tell you I love pulp stories, and detective ones are my favorite, so this was bound to get a couple of stars just for hitting that category. But it was really good. The things that I thought were hokey or whatever were cleared up by the ending, which is totally the opposite of of what you usually get (ehem, Stephen Kin ...more
Mar 15, 2014 Thomas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This 1934 story appeared early in Hubbard's remarkable career. Part zombie story, part crime story, Hubbard successfully fused genres long before such devices were commonplace. Told in ten brisk chapters, the story is a prime example of Hubbard's trademark pacing, strong characters, and flair for suspense. The protagonist, Detective-Sergeant Terry Lane is a quintessential Hubbard hero - intelligent, savvy, and quick to act. Fans of the Golden Age are sure to enjoy this ghoulish delight from Amer ...more
Feb 28, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Detective Terry Lane was tasked to solve the murder of a man named Gordon said to be killed by Jackson, said to have been dead and buried. A blue/grey glove was found at the scene of Gordon's body and the coroner said that Gordon had men strangled by small hands of a dead man!

Terry is determined to solve the murders of the two only to find another man is rumored to die said by a beautiful young woman who said she needed to privately talk to him but disappear when he opened the taxi door.

Mt stars
I got a complementary Audio CD set of this story through in exchange for a review.

I grew up listening to dramatized radio (children stories) and I enjoyed listening to classic radio shows with my Mom (like "The Shadow"). I listened to this story with this in mind - that these kind of pulp fiction stories are fantastic, a bit over the top, and meant to keep an audience rapt.

The audio recording is very well done. Each character is executed very well and the music/sound effects k
May 26, 2014 Kathleen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies, crime
I won this book on Librarything early reviewers and it was alright. It's an audiobook with a full cast, which is always fun. However, it is a little dated. I guess if you like pulp detective fiction, which I have not read much of, you might like this. It just doesn't have much depth. I like a mystery with a bit more complexity. The characters are fairly two dimensional, and the ending is pretty easy to predict. For a quick listen, though, it was entertaining, and that's what pulp fiction is all ...more
Jun 03, 2015 Shawn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, gen-fic
This novella-length story (95 pages) was very much a product of it's time. Long on action, short on characterization, and full of a story which would have been at home in serialized-movies at the nickel theater or on an evening radio show as it likely was in pulp-magazines in the 1930's.

Right off the bat, there is the murder of a rich man by the corpse of his dead secretary. Soon, and with no fanfare whatsoever, you meet the protagonist- Terry Lane. Lane is a detective in the mold of Dick Tracy
Sep 27, 2013 Lise rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott Haraburda
Sep 02, 2013 Scott Haraburda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, audio
Goodreads First Reads Giveaway Book.


An exciting tale of the undead. This audiobook, Dead Men Kill, is a Zombie mystery short story from 1934. It’s about a police Detective, Terry Lane, as he tries to solve several supernatural murders, which, as the title suggests, are being committed by dead men. Each victim was a wealthy prominent citizen in the community. Capturing your attention early was a creepy voice uttering, “I have come to kill you, Gordon.” Right be
As I’ve mentioned before, I rarely make use of audiobooks. Not for any particular hatred of the format, just because they are rarely convenient for me. Nevertheless, I recently found myself with a two-hour solitary car trip. How to fill the time? Surf from one FM classic & current hits station to another, switching every time they cut to commercials?* Maybe in other circumstances I would have done that, but I happened to have a two-hour audiobook sitting here awaiting my purview. And so it w ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 44 45 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Here it is: MY OPINION!! 1 2 Nov 14, 2015 09:17PM  
  • The Book of Apex (Book of Apex, #4)
  • The Sword Lord
  • Scott Nicholson Library, Vol 4
  • The Folks at Fifty-Eight
  • Pinned
  • Hero Wanted (Jason Cosmo #1)
  • The Fires of the Gods (Sugawara Akitada #8)
  • Ghostwalkers (Deadlands, #1)
  • Final Vector
  • Killer
  • The Essene Conspiracy
  • The Trivia Lover's Guide to the World: Geography for the Lost and Found
  • Eat Green Get Lean: 100 Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes for Building Muscle, Getting Lean and Staying Healthy
  • Snapdragon Alley
  • The Secrets of the Montebellis (Secrets, #1)
  • Jim Knighthorse Series: All Three Books
  • Chinatown Beat
  • Amongst My Enemies
L. Ron Hubbard was a popular pulp writer of science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mysteries and westerns during the 1930s and later founder of Dianetics and Scientology.

Known Pseudonyms:
Frederick Engelhardt
Kurt von Rachen
Rene LaFayete/Rene La Fayette/René Lafayette
Frankie Rohne
More about L. Ron Hubbard...

Share This Book

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »