Jerry Tracy

Created by Theodore A. Tinsley Pseudonyms include Reid Sleyton (1894-79) Hard-boiled Daily Planet gossip columnist JERRY TRACY makes Broadway his beat, in two dozen or so short stories in the pager of Black Mask in the thirties, full of rat-ta-tat-tat action. Because Jerry was probably the toughest, most two-fisted gossip columnist you'd ever want to … Continue reading Jerry Tracy

My Bookshelf: The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber

My Bookshelf The Pulp Jungle, by Frank Gruber A fascinating collection of colourful  reminisces of the Frank Gruber's years as a writer, covering his years in New York from 1934 to 1943, as he struggled to--and eventually succeeded--in establishing himself in the highly competitive world of the pulps. Regrets? Gruber had a few,  but when … Continue reading My Bookshelf: The Pulp Jungle by Frank Gruber

“Tough Dick” Donahue

Created by Frederick Nebel (1903-67) One of the hardest of the hard-boiled dicks was prolific pulpster Frederick Nebel's private eye "TOUGH DICK" DONAHUE, whom Cap Shaw of Black Mask hoped would replace The Continental Op after Dashiell Hammett stopped writing for that magazine. There was certainly some reasons for their optimism. A big, burly Irishman and … Continue reading “Tough Dick” Donahue

My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask Magazine

My Bookshelf The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask Magazine, edited  by Herbert Ruhm Almost forgotten now, but the publication of The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask Magazine (1977), edited  by Herbert Ruhm, must have sent pulp fans into a tizzy in the seventies. It was the first real anthology dedicated exclusively to Black Mask since … Continue reading My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Detective: Stories from Black Mask Magazine

Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Erle Stanley Gardner (The Black Mask Boys)

Created by William F. Nolan Pseudonyms include Frank Anmar, F. E. Edwards & Warren Kastel  (1928-2021) "All that talent -- and all that booze. A bad combination." -- Dashiell Hammett in The Black Mask MurdersTalk about resting in pieces. Of course, William F. Nolan didn't "create" Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, or Erle Stanley Gardner. They … Continue reading Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and Erle Stanley Gardner (The Black Mask Boys)

Ben Jardinn

Created by Raoul Whitfield Pseudonyms include Ramon Decolta and Temple Field (1896-1945) "I'm after a killer, man or woman. It's my business. I'll take your money...I'll take anyone's money, if I can give something for it. This isn't a hobby with me. I don't work in a library, or go into trances. I don't dope … Continue reading Ben Jardinn

John Dalmas

Created by Raymond Chandler (1888-1959) "I felt like an amputated leg." -- "Trouble is My Business" “There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like … Continue reading John Dalmas


Created by Ed Lybeck Pseudonym of Charles Edward Widegren (1905-1965) "Well, who's dead now?" -- Harrigan answers the phone, in "Kick Back" There were plenty of hard-boiled newsmen in the detective pulps of the thirties and forties, but Ed Lybeck's FRANCIS ST. XAVIER HARRIGAN, "star reporter" for The New York Leader, may have been the only … Continue reading Harrigan

Luther McGavock

Created by Merle Constiner (1902-79) LUTHER McGAVOCK was a Memphis-based private eye whose cases on behalf of agency boss Atherton Browne took him all over the rural American South. He appeared in some stories in Black Mask, all packed with peculiar goings-on, bizarre characters and oddball plots, often revolving around the most arcane bits of … Continue reading Luther McGavock

Rex Sackler

Created by D.L. Champion Pseudonyms include Tom Champion, Jack D’Arcy, G. Wayman Jones, C. K. M. Scanlon & Robert Wallace (1903-68) Skinny, erudite REX SACKLER is an eccentric private eye so tight with a buck he practically squeaks. A former police detective, this "Shylock of Shamuses" quit the police department because he felt he could … Continue reading Rex Sackler