Ed Race (“The Masked Marksman”)

Created by Emile C. Tepperman
Pseudonym include John Benton, Anthony Clements, Brant House, Kenneth Robeson, Curtis Steele, Grant Stockbridge, Robert Wallace

ED RACE was licensed as a P.I. in six different states, but mostly regarded his detective work as a mere hobby. He made the bulk of his bread and butter as a juggler and trick shooter on the vaudeville circuit, donning a domino eye mask, and billing himself as “The Masked Marksman.One of his specialities is, naturally, juggling six heavy, hair-trigger loaded .45s.

But that’s not enough for the action-loving jasper, and as he lugs his six cherished .guns, his P.I. license and all his world belongings from town to town, wowing the crowds, you can bet that somehow, someway… trouble will find him.

Race appeared in over 50 stories, most fairly short, and all (except one) published as back-up features in The Spider. The plots are nothing special, although Tepperman did have a way with action scenes. He also created Marty Quade, a more traditional private eye, who appeared in over thirty stories in Ten Detective Aces, as well as a number of P.I. characters who made a single appearance, but never managed to spawn a a series. He also created a few more series sleuths: a trio of federal cops who formed a special unit within the FBI called “The Suicide Squad” in Ace G-Man Stories, and Commander Sam Farrell, USN, who gumshoed for the Office of Naval Intelligence as a back-up feature in Operator #5.

But the bulk of Tepperman’s pulp work didn’t involve detectives–his real stock-in-trade were the various “hero pulps” he wrote under numerous “house names.”  As Kenneth Robeson he wrote at least six stories about The Avenger. As Grant Stockbridge, he wrote at least a dozen novels about the featured character in The Spider, and as Brant House he contributed at least four novels about the featured character in Secret Agent X.

But by far his most memorable contribution to the hero pulps was sequence of thirteen consecutive novels, written as Curtis Steele, about the title character in Operator #5, in which the secret agent hero became an underground resistance fighter when a European totalitarian power (modeled on Nazi Germany, but never specifically identified as such) successfully invaded and took over the United States.  This sequence of novels, collectively referred to as the “Purple Invasion Series,” has been called the “War and Peace of hero pulps.”


  • By Emile C. Tepperman
  • “Amateur Night for Killers” (September 1934, The Spider)
  • “Cue for a Corpse” (October 1934The Spider)
  • The Death Juggler” (November 1934, The Spider)
  • “Ticket to Hell” (January 1935, The Spider)
  • Death’s Spotlight” (February 1935, The Spider)
  • Billed for Death” (March 1935, The Spider)
  • Death’s Booking Agent” (April 1935, The Spider)
  • Death Takes an Encore” (May 1935, The Spider)
  • Murder in the Spotlight” (June 1935, The Spider)
  • Juggler’s Holiday” (July 1935, The Spider)
  • Death’s Curtain Call” (August 1935, The Spider)
  • Cue for a Gunman” (October 1935, The Spider)
  • Murder Backstage” (November 1935, The Spider)
  • Death’s Understudy” (December 1935, The Spider)
  • Action Offstage” (January 1936, The Spider)
  • Prologue to Death” (February 1936, The Spider)
  • Overture to Doom” (March 1936, The Spider)
  • Death Between the Acts” (April 1936, The Spider)
  • Bad Actors Die Young!” (May 1936, The Spider)
  • Murder on the Programme” (June 1936, The Spider)
  • Death Steals the Act” (July 1936, The Spider)
  • Death Goes on the Road” (August 1936, The Spider)
  • Death at the Matinee” (October 1936, The Spider)
  • Murder Misses Its Cue” (September 1937, The Spider)
  • Dead Man’s Bullets” (December 1937, The Spider)
  • Corpse Without a Coffin” (March 1938, The Spider)
  • The Corpse Takes a Curtain Call” (April 1938, The Spider)
  • Murder Matinee” (May 1938, The Spider)
  • Death Books the Show” (June 1938, The Spider)
  • Top Billing for Murder” (July 1938, The Spider)
  • Curtain Call for the Corpse” (May 1939, The Spider)
  • A Cue for the Corpse” (August 1939, The Spider)
  • Headliner from Hell” (October 1939, The Spider)
  • Death’s Booking Agent” (June 1940, The Spider)
  • Bank-Night for Corpses” (July 1940, The Spider)
  • Murder’s One-Man Show” (August 1940, The Spider)
  • Murder Sets the Stage September 1940, The Spider)
  • Encore with Death!” (December 1940, The Spider)
  • Murder—Now Showing!” (March 1941, The Spider)
  • Masked Marksman’s Murder Encore” (June 1941, The Spider)
  • Miami Murder Intermission” (July 1941, The Spider)
  • Murder’s Benefit Performance” (September 1941, The Spider)
  • Understudy for Murder” (November 1941, The Spider)
  • Corpses on Display” (January 1942, The Spider)
  • “The Talisman of Murder” (March 1942, Strange Detective Mysteries)
  • The Masked Marksman’s Command Performance” (March 1942, The Spider; crossover with The Suicide Squad)
  • Encore for the Killer” (May 1942, The Spider)
  • Private Performance—for Death!” (July 1942, The Spider)
  • Curtain for the Masked Marksman” (September 1942, The Spider)
  • “Song of the Gallows” (November 1942, The Spider)
  • Reserved Seats—for Murder” (February 1943, The Spider)
  • “Live Targets Shoot Back” (March 1943, The Spider)
  • Death Takes a Bow” (June 1943, The Spider)
  • Danger—Murder Ahead!” (August 1943, The Spider)
  • Death’s Dress Rehearsal” (October 1943, The Spider)
  • By Other Writers
  • “One Death to a Customer” (2012, The Spider: Shadow of Evil; by Rich Harvey)



Respectfully submitted by Jim Doherty and Kevin Burton Smith.

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