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The Black Star

3.61  ·  Rating details ·  56 Ratings  ·  10 Reviews
Johnston McCulley (1883-1958) was a police reporter before he became proflic and successful writer for pulp magazines and for Hollywood. His serial, "The Curse of Capistrano," published in All-Story Magazine in 1919, made him world famous the following year when the film version, starring Douglas Fairbanks Jr., was released under the title The Mark of Zorro. The rest, as t ...more
Hardcover, 308 pages
Published September 10th 2003 by Wildside Press (first published December 31st 1910)
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Marts  (Thinker)
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classics, mystery, crime
Adventurous criminal excitement by the creator of Zorro...
Thom Swennes
Sep 14, 2012 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: I really wouldn't recommend it
The Black Star by Johnston McCulley is a story of good versus evil. Like many thirty-cent novels written and published in the first half of the Twentieth Century, it is a conglomerate of Sherlock Holms, Batman and The Keystone Cops. The story reads as a poorly written, low budgeted black and white movie from the 30’s that were so popular as television filler when I was still young and impressionable. This book would make even the best actors look bad through the inept text and writing. Compared ...more
John Beach
Jul 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Apparently this is a collection of several of the first pulp stories McCulley wrote featuring the villain The Black Star. I enjoyed the adventures and will likely seek out more of them.
Mar 14, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Have you ever watched the Green Hornet, 1930’s version? This is it by another name. Really it is, even down to the vapor guns. The plot so predictable it doesn't compensate for the horrible dialog at all. There are just too many incredible escapes, and even worse solutions.
It’s not really a detective story, because they and you know who did what, when and how. Every act is publicized in advance. It’s just really boring.
Here's an example of the dialog from near the climax. “I regret that I ca
Bushra Zia
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
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One man brags that he can take down the Black Star and end his reign. The Black Star, a gentleman thief, takes offense at the boast.

It’s a cat and mouse game between the notorious crook and a bragger.
Jeff Miller
Jun 24, 2011 rated it liked it
This is by the author of the Zorro series. I was quite impressed with the first Zorro book which was quite a good adventure novel. The same talent is displayed in this book.

The Black Star is the master crook who brags of his prowess in letters to the police and newspaper and has pulled of countless crimes. Enter the hero of the story a well-off man and his chauffeur as they match wits against the Black Star as their battles go back and forth.

A good romp and a fun read with enjoyable characters.

Oct 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: pulp
Johnston McCulley outdid himself on this one. A master of the Robin Hood type hero, who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, McCulley starts out with a villain much like these, only this one keeps all the loot for himself.

The villain is captured by another clever man, only to find that to turn over the Black Star to the police would mean the ruin of his fiancee's family. He has to outwit both the police and The Black Star to bust up the gang and bring the criminal to justice.

Exciting, but
Karen Hartshorn
this is kind of a silly detective story! But it was a lot of fun. It is available at and also as an audio recording at both free---so if you just need a funny,old little detective story give it a try.
Sep 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
A wonderful crime-adventure book from the creator of the famous The Mark of Zorro!
Courtney Cox
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Johnston McCulley (February 2, 1883 – November 23, 1958) was the author of hundreds of stories, fifty novels, numerous screenplays for film and television, and the creator of the character Zorro.

Many of his novels and stories were written under the pseudonyms Harrington Strong, Raley Brien, George Drayne, Monica Morton, Rowena Raley, Frederic Phelps, Walter Pierson, and John Mack Stone, among othe
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