RON GOULART, Editor – The Hardboiled Dicks. Sherbourne Press, hardcover, 1965. Pocket, paperback, 1967.

   Eight stories from the pulp-age detective magazines, when violence and action were the keywords. The question is, are these stories merely representative, or were they chosen to be among the best of each author’s work? If the majority of pulp stories were below these in quality, they deserve obscurity, but if these are indeed only meant as typical examples, future digging might be quite rewarding. Overall rating: 3 stars.

[Note: Rather than reprint the entirety of the eight stories in one fell swoop, what I’ve decided to do is post them on this blog two at a time, over the next few weeks.]

  NORBERT DAVIS “Don’t Give Your Right Name.” PI Max Latin #2. Novelette. First published in Dime Detective Magazine, December 1941. Reprinted in The Complete Cases of Max Latin (Steeger Books, 2013). Max Latin, not-so-honest private eye, solves the murder of another detective working on a case connected with a job of Latin’s. Too many coincidences when thought about afterward, but is effectively done. Characterization is complete, but ending comes fast. (3)

  JOHN K. BUTLER “The Saint in Silver.” Steve Midnight #4. Novelette. First published in Dime Detective Magazine, January 1941. Collected in The Complete Cases of Steve Midnight, Volume 1 (Steeger Books, 2016). Steve Midnight, a cab driver, takes a fare on part of a treasure hunt and becomes involved in the narcotics habit of a religionist’s wife. Well told story, in Southern California surroundings. (3)

               — November 1967.