It crept furtively along a steel girder. Hundreds of feet below yawned glass-and-brick-walled cracks---New York streets. Down there, late workers scurried homeward. Most of them carried umbrellas, and did not glance upward. (from The Man of Bronze by Lester Dent, writing as Kenneth Robeson)
Thus begins the greatest adventure series to come out of the pulp magazine era.
In the first book, Doc and his friends are faced with an assassin from a lost Mayan tribe; an accomplice attempting to thwart their exploring the mysterious legacy that was left to Doc Savage by his father; and the deadly malady that killed his father - the Red Death.
The adventure opens when a bullet from the assassin's rifle, a double barrel .577 Nitro Express made by Webley and Scott of Birmingham England.
Doc Savage learns that his father died from a mysterious ailment that caused circular red spots on his neck; although Monk researched the cause to see if it was a poison or a germ, he states that he "never learned a thing." The malady, we learn, is the Red Death.
This novel also cite's the origin of Doc's fabulous wealth and the Hidalgo Trading Company
Written by Lester Dent in December of 1932, published March 1933.