Stories for Sunday: "Sleeping Dogs" by Robert Leslie Bellem (Spicy Detective, September 1934)

Starting today I am beginning a new series of posts called “Stories for Sunday.” Every week, I will post a link to a different mystery story online.

This week’s story is “Sleeping Dogs” by Robert Leslie Bellem, originally published in Spicy Detective (September, 1934). The story stars Bellem’s iconic private eye, Dan Turner, who is hired to investigate a young Hollywood starlet who is being blackmailed for a skin flick she made a long time ago. This story is typical of Bellem – fast paced, plenty of violence and sex (for it’s time), and full of playful prose. Here are some examples:

“The door opened. I shoved my .38 square in her face and said ‘How would you like a mouthful of bullets?’”

“I grabbed the inkwell from my desk and let him have it square behind the ear. He dropped like a poled ox.”

“I aim to get my pile and quit before the law of averages lays for me with a gut-full of steel-jacketed pills.”

If phrases like this would make your Sunday just a little more enjoyable, then this is the story for you. Click here to download a PDF of the story courtesy of PulpGen.

For those of you looking to relive the experience of reading this story in a magazine, Vintage Library has reprinted the entire original September 1934 issue of Spicy Detective.


  1. Yeah, I'm with Paul that this is a great idea that will add to my weekend when I want to sit back and read some old fashioned pulp.

  2. Thanks so much for the positive feedback, Paul and David. I've recently been discovering these old gems online and wanted to share them with everyone. And also thanks to both of you for posting your own stories on the web! Always a joy to read.

  3. Bellem's Turner stories are my absolute favorite. Nothing puts a smile on my face quite as quickly.

    Thanks and keep 'em coming!

  4. A great idea for the treadmill time. Thanks.


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