RON GOULART, Editor – The Hardboiled Dicks: An Anthology and Study of Pulp Detective Fiction. Sherbourne Press, hardcover, 1965. Pocket 50560, paperback, 1965.

   This excellent anthology has an introduction by Goulart and eight stories originally published in Black Mask, Detective Fiction Weekly and Dime Detective between 1932 and 1941. Goulart says that he hopes to rescue a few hardboiled detectives from oblivion. He has certainly chosen fine stories for it.

   Probably the best story in the book is Lester Dent’s “Angelfish,” about Oscar Sail, which is almost as good as the earlier “Sail.” It’s unfortunate that Dent didn’t write more short stories of this type rather than the Doc Savage stories. Two other excellent stories are Raoul Whitfield’s “China Man,” about island detective Jo Gar in the atmospheric Philippines, and Norbert Davis’s tough and amusing “Don’t Give Your Right Name,” featuring Max Latin.

   Richard Sale’s A Nose for News” and Frederick Nebel’s “Winter Kill” have newspapermen as detectives, while others feature a cabby (John K. Butler’s “The Saint in Silver”), encyclopedia salesman Oliver Quade (Frank Gruber’s “Death on Eagle Crag”), and crooked detective Lester Leith (Erle Stanley Gardner’s “Bird in the Hand”). There isn’t a weak story in the bunch. Recommended.

–Reprinted with permission from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 1, No. 2, March 1977.