MYSTERY OF THE KIDNAPPED COWBOY [Hollywood Cowboy Detectives] by Darryle Purcell

It's winter in 1938 and Republic Pictures has sent studio PR flack Sean "Curly" Woods to Iverson Ranch where the B-Western, The Lone Ranger Rides Again, is being filmed. The star of that 15-chapter serial, Bob Livingston, is unhappy that the studio replaced him with John Wayne on his long-running series, The Three Mesquiteers. And his unhappiness has led to disruptive behavior.

Curly's assignment is to rein in the disgruntled star so the production can stay on budget, while keeping all negative news away from the press. "Piece of cake," Woods said. But then he finds Livingston's hotel room trashed, blood on the floor and a ransom note that states if the police become involved, the star of The Lone Ranger Rides Again will bite the dust.

Veteran western-film villain Glenn Strange joins Woods and studio chauffeur Nick Danby in investigating the Mystery of the Kidnapped Cowboy at Iverson Ranch. An old friend of Curly has taken a job at the ranch only to become a victim of a pitchfork-wielding villain. As time is running out for Livingston, the Hollywood Cowboy Detectives ride the range of the San Fernando Valley while tracking the kidnappers. Once again, the cowboy investigators discover gun-blazing action is the only way to bring justice to the old west of the 1930s.

Author and former editorial cartoonist Darryle Purcell illustrates this short story adventure in the style of the pulp publications of the 1930s and '40s.

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