Sam Boyd

Created by W.T. Ballard (Willis Todhunter Ballard)
Pseudonyms include P. D. Ballard, Harrison Hunt, Neil MacNeil, John Shepherd

The blurb for “Murder’s Mandate,” from the table of contents for the September 1945 issue of Thrilling Detective (no relation) pretty much says it all:

“Private Sleuth Sam Boyd plays for high stakes in a Western gambling town when he puts his chips on a scheme to prove his own innocence of crime—and solve a grim death riddle!”

I think this was deceptively slow-moving, sleepy-eyed SAM BOYD‘s only appearance, but of course anything by W.T. Ballard is worth checking out.

“Murder’s Mandate” was later collected in a 2020 ebook, Murder Calls the Tune, along with three other of Ballard’s hard-boiled novelettes about life on the home front during World War II.

He had a long career, first popping up regularly in the pages of Black Mask (under the editorialship of Cap Shaw), and went on to a long and successfull career writing for the pulps and later, the burgeoning paperback market, cranking out crime fiction, Westerns and tie-ins well into the seventies.


  • “Murder’s Mandate” (September 1945, Thrilling Detective)


  • Murder Calls the Tune (2020) Kindle it!
    Includes “Murder’s Mandate,” featuring Sam Boyd, plus “Murder Calls The Tune” (1943), “Death Before Defense” (1944) and “The Countess and the Killer” (1943).
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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