The Private Eye Denizens Immediately following World War II, there was a boom in England, as a swarm of hungry writers and publishers, inspired by the success of Peter Cheyney and James Hadley Chase, sprang up seemingly overnight to meet the British public's apparently insatiable demand for "American-style" hard-boiled fiction. Steve Holland pretty much nailed the … Continue reading The Mushroom Jungle
Created by Gordon McAlpine Pseudonyms include Owen Fitzstephen Your first instinct might be to run when you hear the high-minded praise for this “brilliantly structured labyrinth of a novel—postmodernist in its experimental bravado,” as Joyce Carol Oates calls it. But relax. In Woman With a Blue Pencil (2015), Gordon McAlpine doesn’t just write just for the … Continue reading Sam Sumida/Jimmy Park (Woman With a Blue Pencil)
"A Magazine of Mystery, Romance and Adventure." -- The Black Mask's first slogan The Black Mask (the "the" was dropped in 1926), founded in 1920, was aimed squarely at the cheap seats, printed on paper so rough the pages sometimes sported splinters. It was intended as a quick, money-making side project by journalist H. L. … Continue reading They Also Served: The Men and Women Behind the Mask
EDITOR OF BLACK MASK Although editor Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw gets most of the attention for making Black Mask magazine what it was, it was actually GEORGE W. SUTTON, JR., the pulp's second editor, succeeding F.M. Osborne, who turned the boat around. And just in time, too, because in the pulp's first few years, the emphasis … Continue reading They Also Served: George Sutton
The Place Where the Pulps Came From In helping me assemble my list of post-pulp digests, Richard Moore openly speculated that 1 Appleton Street, Holyoke, Massachusett, listed so often as the "publisher's address" of so many crime pulps and digests, must surely have been a mail drop to dodge bill collectors -- or that Holyoke … Continue reading Good Ol’ Holyoke, Mass.
My Scrapbook Raymond Chandler complains about his book's cover... For the homepage of my November 2011 issue, I "borrowed" a cover from a reprint edition of one of my all-time favourite books by one of my absolutely all-time favourite writers: Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler. It's not my favourite cover for this much-reprinted title … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Raymond Chandler Bitches About His Book Cover
My Scrapbook WTF? The first edition cover of Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely No, seriously... Raymond Chandler's Farewell, My Lovely (1940) has always been my favourite Philip Marlowe novel, and one of my all-time favourite novels, period. After all, what's not to love? Moose Malloy? Velma? Shine bars? Jewel thieves? Betrayal? Armed robbery? Love with no … Continue reading My Scrapbook: Farewell, My Lovely… Flying Saucers?