The Phantom combats a human fiend who plays the game of life and death with men as pawns in this exciting tale of a series of grim murders veiled in a sinister cloak of mystery! In the never-ending war of the forces of crime against civilization, it is the guardians of the law who always hold the winning hand! Though the dread octopus of lawlessness grasps humanity in a strangle-hold, the courageous and fearless upholders of honesty and decency are making greater and greater progress in loosening its terrible clutches! Among the most formidable enemies of organized banditry is Richard Curtis Van Loan, the Phantom Detective — the world’s greatest sleuth and master of disguise and escape!
Unlike the majority of his fictional peers, The Phantom Detective did not engage a plethora of mad scientists, monsters, and supernatural forces bent on evil. Staying fairly true to his debut in The Emperor of Death, Richard Curtis Van Loan saw his mission as taking on criminals head on, but not the fantastic foes that Doc Savage, The Shadow and others faced. The Phantom Detective spent twenty years fighting crime at its most basic, on the streets and in the back alleys, on the docks and in skyscrapers riddled with corruption. Using skills he learned on his own, Van Loan took on gangsters, murderers, and other vile types who sought to rob common citizens of their money, their safety, their lives. In his entire 170 issue run, The Phantom Detective only faced one foe, Clifford Boniface, twice. While others were fighting bat creatures and exotic diseases, The Phantom Detective was hell bent on keeping everyday citizens alive.
‘Merchant of Murder’ was originally published in the October 1934 issue of The Phantom Detective Magazine and is read with pulse pounding intensity by award winning voice actor Milton Bagby.