The Complete Ivy Frost
Introduction by D. H. Olson
Cover Art by Raymond Swanland
It may come as a surprise to some that Donald Wandrei wrote more mysteries than all his horror, fantasy, and science fiction tales combined. This volume collects all eighteen adventures of Wandrei’s ratiocinative detective I.V. (or Ivy) Frost, who is ably assisted by his beautiful and tough female assistant, Jean Moray. A scientist and inventor, Frost has his own approach to solving mysteries. Rather than following the usual hard-drinking, trench-coated style of many of his contemporaries, Frost’s strategy was to mix the logic of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes with the technology of Lester Dent’s Doc Savage. In 2000, D.H. Olson edited a volume published by Fedogan and Bremer collecting the first eight of Frost’s adventures. A second volume of the remaining 10 tales was promised but never materialized.
Introduction by D. H. Olson
"Frost," Clues Detective Stories Sep '34
"Green Man—Creeping," Clues Detective Stories Nov '34
"They Could Not Kill Him," Clues Detective Stories Feb '35
"Bride of the Rats," Clues Detective Stories Apr '35
"The Artist of Death," Clues Detective Stories Jun '35
"Death Descending," Clues Detective Stories Aug '35
"Impossible," Clues Detective Stories Oct '35
"Merry-Go-Round," Clues Detective Stories Dec '35
"Giants in the Valley," Clues Detective Stories Feb '36
"Bone Crusher," Clues Detective Stories Apr '36
"Panda," Clues Detective Stories Jul '36
"The Lunatic Plague," Clues Detective Stories Aug '36
"Killer’s Bait," Clues Detective Stories Nov '36
"Stolen from the Morgue," Clues Detective Stories Jan '37
"Blood in the Golden Crystal," Clues Detective Stories Mar '37
"A Beetle or a Fox," Clues Detective Stories Jun '37
"Skeletons, Inc," Clues Detective Stories Aug '37
"Electric Devils," Clues Detective Stories Sep '37
Moonlighting meets James Bond meets Sherlock Holmes, sort of
"Donald Wandrei was one of the great pulp writers of the late 20's and early 30's. He's best known for his cosmic science fiction and his macabre horror stories, and indeed was a Weird Tales Magazine and Astounding Stories regular. The eight stories in this collection show that he could also write pulp detective fiction with the best of them. His investigator Professor I. V. "Ivy" Frost is a mix of supersleuth, inventor, scientist, and master fighter all rolled into one. Deadly, logical, courageous, and stoic like the more famous denizen of Baker Street, he is also a man with a super gadget or two up his sleeve. In addition he just happens to have a beautiful, brainy, gutsy, blonde assistant named Jean Moray, who has her own advanced degrees AND a garter belt thigh holster complete with pearl handled .25. The slyly humorous romantic/sexual tension between Frost and Moray made the stories as far as I was concerned.
The editors of Clues Magazine asked Wandrei to develop a series character in an effort to compete with the more well known hard boiled fiction of Black Mask Magazine. Wandrei's ratiocinative adventurer quickly became one of the most popular series characters in Clue's history and at one time was in line for a series of motion picture reels. Sadly these never came to pass, nor did a planned Frost novel, but the stories are still exciting and enjoyable examples of pulp mystery and mayhem. The first eight stories are published in this volume, with the remaining ten promised for a future edition. Like all the pulp stories written during this period a little "willing suspension of disbelief" is necessary, but Wandrei's quick action plots and writing take the willing reader on an exciting ride of thrills and suspense. Of these stories all are good, but I would particularly suggest the first one, "Frost", along with "The Artist of Death" and "Merry-Go-Round." However each story in this volume has it's own appeal."—Steven R. Harbin on FROST.
Imaginative and superbly written short fiction
"Fans of the old-style pulp mystery/detective fiction will relish Donald Wanderi's Frost, an outstanding collection of imaginative and superbly written short fiction revolving around the adventures of Professor Frost, a picky investigator who chooses only the most challenging cases, and is aided by a beautiful female sidekick. Swift action and unpredictable plots in true pulp style mark a fine selection of of terrific and original adventures by a mastery storyteller."—Midwest Book Review on FROST.