Tuesday, 17 December 2019

Queen Of The Flaming Diamond by Leroy Yerxa + #FreeBook

Queen Of The Flaming Diamond by Leroy Yerxa
Published in Amazing Stories in America in January 1943.

Q for my 2019 Alphabet Soup Challenge

How I got this book:
Downloaded a free copy via Project Gutenberg

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

He succeeded in dragging his charge up the three low steps that led toward the coat room. A silvery crash of music drowned out Puffy's voice with the suddenness of striking lightning. He dropped his arm from Drake's waist and pivoted, surprise on his broad face. Something weird and lovely about the sound turned them both toward the stage. His chin dropped in delight. This wasn't Lardner's usual nightly feature.

With only a few weeks remaining in 2019, I had thought about abandoning my Alphabet Soup challenge with five letters still unread (J, Q, X, Y and Z). However, leaving such things unfinished rankles with me, probably far more than it should do, so I've been scouring Project Gutenberg for suitable books. Queen Of The Flaming Diamond's lurid cover art caught my eye.

This 64-page story is a curious blend of crime caper and shapeshifting fantasy. It reads like a pulp novel which makes sense as that's exactly what it is, so there's no great depth to any of the character portrayals or logical explanation to the bizarre events that unfold. That doesn't really matter though and it's probably for the best that the narrative races over its many gaping plotholes! For all my literary complaints, Queen Of The Flaming Diamond is good fun. I happily read in on a cold, rainy afternoon and was transported to a Bugsy Malone-style world of mobsters, nightclubs, diamond thieves and shapeshifting foxes. As you do! If you fancy an entertaining escapist read, this story will do the trick.

Etsy Find!
by Villa Sorgenfrei in
Berlin, Germany

Click pic to visit Etsy Shop

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Books by Leroy Yerxa / Short stories / Books from America


  1. Well done on another Alphabet read! I really hope you can find a few to finish the challenge!

    1. I've got the necessary books downloaded and fingers crossed I'll get time to read them all in the next ten days. Eeek!

  2. Sounds like a nice little story. Glad you found your Q!

    1. I'd thought shapeshifter stories were a new phenomenon, but Queen Of The Flaming Diamond was written 76 years ago!

  3. It does look very pulpy- that cover definitely has the pulp style going!