Saturday, 4 August 2012

Domino Lady vs The Mummy

The story is one that will be well known to most pre-slasher horror fans, a Mummy with the help of her high Priestess is killing people for their body parts to create the perfect mate. The twist in this Mummy story is that the Mummy is female and the victims are all males, so none of the usual screaming heroine having to be saved by the square jawed hero in this book, which is a refreshing change.

The story starts off with the murder of an ex Olympic gold medal winner turned film star Johnny Wisssman, apart from the killing aspect it’s a nice nod to an actor who played Tarzan in the 30's. It also brought back fond memories of my wasted childhood, as I sat in front of the TV on a Saturday morning watching Tarzan back in the 60's. There are other nods to the golden age of cinema in the names of some of the characters who appear, I picked up a Mr Chandler and Detective Finch there’s bound to be more I haven't picked up on.

Its during one of their murders that the Mummy and the Priestess draw the attention of the Domino Lady, after they kill the Chef in a restaurant where Domino is on a night out as her alter ego (they all have them) Ellen Patrick. Not one to turn her back on a murder Domino along with her police friend Detective "Mad Dog" Vernia, are quickly on the case and following the murder trail unaware that this is no ordinary killer.

Domino and Vernia seem to enjoy clandestine meetings on the beach, and there are some nice moments of dialogue between them. Which as a new reader I enjoyed, as I got to learn that there is history between the two of them. Their meetings are interspersed with scenes of the murders like the killing of Detective Finch, who thinks its his lucky night when he meets the priestess. That is until a bandaged hand puts his face through a car window, and as mentioned earlier a night on the town at Dumonts. Where the rich and famous dine out, and mummy's murder chefs a sort of 1930's Hells Kitchen. 

Domino Lady is more than just a character in stockings, with a dress split to her thigh and a plunging neckline (she is honest). She's a dam good detective and its those detective skills that she uses to track down the mummy, by using a combination of detective work, connections and beating the crap out of someone for information (it’s a bad guy so that’s OK). The story ends with the expected standoff between the hero in this case heroine and the villains, with Domino saving the day and sending the Mummy and her priestess back to the land of the dead. 

The two main characters in the book Domino Lady and Detective Vernia are well defined, and even if you have no history with them it doesn’t take long to work out the sort of characters they are. Vernia is straight out of the old movies of the 30's and 40's a real mans man whatever that means, unshaven, cigarette always in hand he can get away with calling a woman doll and kid without getting a slap across his face (try that in today’s PC world gone mad)
Domino Lady is also from the same mould cigarette in hand unless she is hitting or kicking someone, she is also a lady who knows what her assets are and is not afraid to use both of them to give her the edge she needs. She is the original fem fatal in the mould of Garbo, Lombard, Davis and Crawford, a woman who is not to be messed with unless she wants to be.

Not to be left out Nephthys the high priestess is also sporting a classic 30’s film star look, throw in her princess Leia type costume and you can see how she gets close to her victims (we men are not very bright)

The story is co-written by Nancy Holder & Bobby Nash and is excellently paced out, even as a new reader you quickly work out who every one is and what their relationship is to Domino. I particularly liked the character of Jackie Stones a dodgy art dealer and fence, when asked by Domino ''you know a lot about mummies he replies ''what you don't have hobbies'', it made me laugh but then I have a strange sense of humour.  As its co-written I am unsure as to who wrote which parts of the story, or who came up with certain ideas and to be honest you don’t need to know. All you have to do is read the book and enjoy it, something I have done on more than one occasion now. I judge how good a book is on its re-readability factor, and this one ranks highly in that category.

The book is in black and white but the artwork (Rock Baker) and inks (Jeff Austin) are fabulous, they give the book that 30's film feel to it and if I’m honest I think the book would have been spoilt if it had been done in colour. Having said that the cover by Dan Brereton is a work of art in itself and would not look out of place sat outside a cinema as a film poster, my one small gripe with it is the mummy on the cover doesn't look anything like the one in the book. The mummy on the cover looks as you would expect it too, where the one in the book looks like an extra from a Lady Gaga video, but it does fit in with the tone of the story.

This was my first foray into the world of the Domino Lady, and if I’m truthful I only bought the book as I enjoy the work of Bobby Nash. However given how much I have enjoyed this story and the character of Domino, it won’t be the last time I pick up a book featuring her.


  1. Thanks for the great review, Robert. I'm glad you enjoyed it.


  2. I recently became the proud owner of three of Rock Baker's penciled pages from this story, including the page on the beach that you included here.

  3. Wow thats a cool piece of art to have.