Clay Holt

Created by Carroll John Daly Pseudonyms include John D. Carroll (1889--1958) There but for the Grace of God--or possibly the disapproval of Black Mask editor Joseph "Cap" Shaw--goes Race Williams... It's well known how little the ambitious Shaw thought of Carroll John Daly's writing--despite the fact that his stories featuring trigger-happy Williams were exceedingly popular … Continue reading Clay Holt

Mr. Strang

Created by Carroll John Daly Pseudonyms include John D. Carroll (1889--1958) Like all of Carroll John Daly's series characters, MR. STRANG was a shoot-first, let-God-sort-them-out kinda guy. But unlike Three Gun Terry, Race Williams or even Clay Holt, Strang was not a trigger-happy private eye, but a straight-out vigilante, more along the lines of The … Continue reading Mr. Strang

Burton Combs (real name unknown)

Created by Carroll John Daly (1889-1958) "I ain't a crook; just a gentleman adventurer and make my living working against the law breakers. Not that work I with the police -- no, not me. I'm no knight errant either." Carroll John Daly's short story, "The False Burton Combs," which appeared in the December 1922 issue … Continue reading Burton Combs (real name unknown)

Three Gun Terry (aka “Three Gun Mack;” “Terry Mack”)

Created by Carroll John Daly Pseudonyms include John D. Carroll (1889--1958) "You don't take me for no Sir Lancelot, do you?" -- Terry explains he ain't that kinda guy. Here's the real deal! Carroll John Daly's THREE GUN TERRY is the very first hard-boiled private eye. Probably... Because, of course, with any such statement, there … Continue reading Three Gun Terry (aka “Three Gun Mack;” “Terry Mack”)

Who’s on First?

The First Hard-Boiled Private Eye Story "Firsts" are the sort of game literary historians, scholars and bookgeeks love to play, giving them a chance to strut their stuff, loudly and proudly offering up the most blurry of distinctions and the most wishy-washy of definitions, turning hair-splittery into a fine art -- and occasionally a contact … Continue reading Who’s on First?

Vee Brown (The Crime Machine)

Created by Carroll John Daly Also wrote as John D. Carroll (1889--1958)   Slight of build and seemingly mild-mannered VIVIAN "VEE" BROWN may not look like much of a threat to anyone. He lives in a swank Park Avenue penthouse, and writes hit songs for a living. Fans of pop music call him the "Master … Continue reading Vee Brown (The Crime Machine)

My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

My Bookshelf The Hard-Boiled Omnibus: Early Stories from Black Mask, edited by Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw   Is there a more pivotal collection of stories from Black Mask than The Hard-Boiled Omnibus? Published by Simon and Schuster in 1946, this almost mythical hardcover featured fifteen stories selected by editor  Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw (1874-1952), who had … Continue reading My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

Race Williams

Created by Carroll John Daly (1889-1958) "Sometimes... one hunk of lead is worth all the thought in the world" -- from "Not My Corpse" "I have brains, I suppose." -- from "The Snarl of the Beast" New York City's RACE WILLIAMS is oftenconsidered to be the first "private eye," at least as we understand the … Continue reading Race Williams

Dear Mr. Daly

A Fan Letter From Mickey Spillane Just in case anybody doubts that Spillane's Mike Hammer was inspired by Carroll John Daly's Race Williams, check this out: The story goes (at least as far as Spillane told it) that when Daly's agent at the time saw the letter, she instituted a plagiarism suit. Whereupon Daly canned … Continue reading Dear Mr. Daly