My Bookshelf: The Hardboiled Dicks

My Bookshelf

The Hardboiled Dicks, edited by Ron Goulart

An absolute essential for anyone who loves this stuff, Ron Goulart’s 1965 The Hardboiled Dicks (my 1967 paperback reprint is the one pictured above) was one of the first collections of hard-boiled detective fiction from the thirties and forties crime and detective pulps, preceded by only Cap Shaw’s 1946 The Hard-Boiled Omnibus, from two decades earlier, which collected fifteen nuggets from Black Mask.

Goulart’s book also contained stories from Black Mask, but stretched to include stories from Dime Detective and Detective Fiction Weekly as well. Goulart also wrote the introduction, and true fan that he was, provided an informal reading list at the end of the book that still serves as a kick ass introduction to hard-boiled fiction.

And unlike Shaw’s 1946 historical gem, you can still find find relatively cheap copies of Goulart’s book around (I found one last year for four bucks, and current prices start at about six or seven bucks on ABE or Amazon).

* * * * *

Goulart, Ron, editor.
New York: Sherbourne Press, 1965.

  • Introduction by Ron Goulart
  • “Don’t Give Your Right Name” by Norbert Davis
  • “The Saint in Silver” by John K. Butler
  • “Winter Kill” by Frederick Nebel
  • “China Man” by Raoul Whitfield
  • “Death on Eagle’s Crag” by Frank Gruber
  • “A Nose for News” by Richard Sale
  • “Angelfish” by Lester Dent
  • “Bird in the Hand” by Erle Stanley Gardner
  • An Informal Reading List


  • “James & all: I appreciate the kind words about The Hardboiled Dicks. It was my first book. It was inspired my an article I’d done for a men’s magazine. My honorary mentor Anthony Boucher had given the piece a favorable mention in his NY Times review column and I parlayed that into a book contract with Sherbourne Press, where my friend William F. Nolan had an editor friend. Now if only somebody would (mention) one of my books that’s still in print.
    — Ron Goulart (Comments section, April 2010, Rough Edges)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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