This cover is Authentic Police Cases #2, published by St. John on January, 1948. I like how it has the feel of motion created by the angles of the buildings and slightly off-level street – along with a dynamic use of color. With the eye first focused to the defenseless hostage, the viewer then scans around to search for clues as to what is happening.
According to the Grand Comic Database, Nick Cardy (a.k.a Viscardi) is likely the artist for the cover. This accreditation is mainly because the drawing style resembles the cover for issue #3 – and that cover appears as if it could be signed “NC.” Or in my opinion possibly “VIS”? While not a certainty, Nick was known to have liked working into his drawings hidden signatures, including NV and NC.
Like many publishers St. John was willing and able to quickly switch genres, with police and crime comics being “hot” during this particular moment in time. Subsequent issues #3 and #6 even found their way into Seduction of the Innocent. The series lasted thirty-eight issues.
Inside this edition, Edna spills the beans for a $1,000 reward, and gets Sims life in the penitentiary. But most importantly, the book contains a “Lady Satan” story. Interestingly, she appeared much earlier (1944) on the cover of Bulls Eye Comics, which was a Harry A. Chesler publication. This is clearly a re-print given the WWII theme to the story that also includes her origin. The Lady manages to escape General Schultz’ firing squad, take out several airplanes, incapacitate a number of men with her chlorine firing pistol and still get the enemies plans back to England. Bravo!