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Trask, Ivy. Ivy Trask was created by Judson Philips (Luke Bradley, Mark Chandler, Danny Coyle, Park Avenue Hunt Club, John Smith (III), Carole Trevor) and appeared in three stories in Detective Fiction Weekly in 1932 and 1933, beginning with “Crime Lust” (Detective Fiction Weekly, Oct. 15, 1932).

Ivy Trask is a Femme Fatale. She is an actress and adventuress in New York City. She steals, and quite successfully, but one man knows her secret: Geoffrey Malvern, a drama critic whose brother was driven to suicide by Trask. But Malvern has failed to get any evidence on her, and so she walks free. And while she walks free, she steals, murders, blackmails, betrays allies, engineers the kidnaping of children, and sees to it that those who would double-cross her are killed first. Trask is a “pale, golden goddess.” She is clever, brave, has a taste for statues depicting suffering, and has over her dressing table a black leather whip which may have been used on her in the past. (Her past is mysterious).

* I'm including Ivy Trask in the Best of the Encyclopedia list because her stories are fun to read. The Ivy Trask stories aren't in any way about the good guys winning. The "bad guy"--Trask--always triumphs over Geoffrey Malvern--the "good guy." But the Ivy Trask stories are fun to read despite that, because the Trask stories are about one woman, full of arete (the Classical Greek quality of being excellent in all things), defeating her less competent foes. The masterful man stories, such as those about Doc Savage and The Batman, are enjoyable to many; masterful woman stories are objectively superior to masterful man stories. The Pulp Era drive to portray idealized women as heroic protagonists in pulp stories showed such women as heroes about 50% of the time; the other half were idealized women as criminal protagonists. The latter tend to be more interesting and involving stories than the former. So, too, here, with Ivy Trask. 

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