Started in the 1920s and perfected in the 1930s, the hard boiled detective was one of the most popular forms to arise from the pulp fiction magazines.
The hard boiled detective was a character who had to live on the mean streets of the city where fighting, drinking, swearing, poverty and death were all part of life. This new type of detective had to balance the day to day needs of survival against the desire to uphold the law and assist justice. Living in the toughest of environments, and required to be tougher than the evil surrounding him, our new heroes had to become "hard boiled".
In this new world, the hard boiled detective began to administer a new form of justice where if need be, he himself would cross the line and break the law, to insure that justice was done. Our hero was thrust into a world where he had to choose between different levels of evil and no one was truely on the side of good. His survival often depended upon a shoot first, ask questions later approach where the ability to reason out a murder is less important than the ability to fight one's way out of a jam.
This ushered in a new era of action packed detective stories where the murder no longer took place off stage and instead took place all around our hero on an ongoing basis. In some respects, the hard boiled detective was in response to the rising crime and gangster activety caused by Prohibition and then the Great Depression. But once Carroll John Daly introduced us to Race Williams, and Dashiell Hammett gave us to Sam Spade, the world of detective fiction changed forever.
The Quires Matter: A McGowan For Hire Mystery by Roger Torrey
From the pages of Super Detective comes a McGowan for Hire Mystery
From the pen of Roger Torrey author of 42 Days for Murder, and mysteries for Black Mask, Private Detective, Detective Story, Dime Detective, and similar magazines comes another hard-boi ... read more
Hardboiled in Hollywood by David Wilt
Five Black Mask Writers and The MoviesThis book covers the film careers of Horace McCoy, Eric Taylor, Dwight V. Babcock, Peter Ruric and John K. Butler. With more than 200 feature film credits, this group of Black Mask writers left their mark on Holly ... read more
History of Mystery by Max Allan Collins
Follow the trail of the smoking gun, look for clues in the naked footprints and watch out for broken glass... the game is afoot in the bright, guilty world of detective fiction and author Max Collins knows whodunit. Peeking through the misty mythic barrier of detective stori ... read more
At The Stroke of Midnight by John K. Butler
John K. Butler's Steve Midnight. From the pages of Dime Detective. Edited by John Wooley. "At the Stroke of Midnight is a must for the library of any pulp aficionado and anyone who admires good, old-fashioned, atmospheric detective stories." -- Bill Pronzini, author of ... read more
Fade to Blonde by Max Phillips
She Was A Little Taste of Heaven And A One-Way Ticket To Hell!
Ray Corson came to Hollywood to be a screenwriter, not hired muscle. But when a beautiful girl with a purse full of cash asks for your help, how can you say no? So Corson agrees to protect starlet ... read more
Footprints On A Brain by D. L. Champion
"Tough, cantakerous Inspector Allhoff, who lost his legs in a shoot-out with crooks armed with a machine-gun, lives across the street from Police Headquarters in a slum tenement building and solves intricate mysterie ... read more
Murder From The East by Carroll John Daly
"The incomparably hard-boiled, bone-crushing, fast shooting Race Williams." -- ERLE STANLEY GARDNER.
This is an out-and-out fast action thriller by an author whose previous yarns have raised the hair and chilled the spines of even the most blood thirsty mystery ... read more
Oxford Book American Detectives by Tony Hillerman
"One of the most attractive and interesting anthologies of the year." -- Crime Time
In The Oxford Book of American Detective Stories, Tony Hillerman and Rosemary Herbert bring together thirty-three tales that illuminate both the evolution of crime fiction in the Un ... read more
Stories from John D. MacDonald, James M. Cain, Donald E. Westlake, Lawrence Block, Mickey Spillane, and Harry Whittington.
The Big Knockover by Dashiell Hammett
Short, thick-bodied, mulishly stubborn, and indifferent to physical pain, Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op was the prototype for generations of tough-guy detectives. The Op's one enthusiasm is doing his job, and in The Big Knockover the jobs entail taking on a gang ... read more
- Available in Chapbook
- The Quires Matter: A McGowan For Hire Mystery by Roger Torrey
- Available in Electronic PDF File
- Make Your Own Corpse by Carroll John Daly
- Ready To Burn by Carroll John Daly
- Tainted Power by Carroll John Daly
- The Amateur Murder by Carroll John Daly
- The Black Warning by Carroll John Daly
- The Emperor of Evil by Carroll John Daly
- The Hidden Hand by Carroll John Daly
- The Men in Black by Carroll John Daly
- The Mystery of the Smoking Gun by Carroll John Daly
- The Shadow Man by Hugh B. Cave
- The Swinging Corpse by Carroll John Daly
- The Third Murderer by Carroll John Daly
- The White Headed Corpse by Carroll John Daly
- Available in Paperback
- At The Stroke of Midnight by John K. Butler
- Fade to Blonde by Max Phillips
- Footprints On A Brain by D. L. Champion
- Murder From The East by Carroll John Daly
- Oxford Book American Detectives by Tony Hillerman
- Pulp Masters
- The Big Knockover by Dashiell Hammett
- The Heat's On by Chester Himes
- The High Window by Raymond Chandler
- The Long Goodbye by Raymond Chandler
- The Mike Hammer Collection Volume #1 by Mickey Spillane
- The Mike Hammer Collection Volume #2 by Mickey Spillane
- Available in Used Paperback
- The Hardboiled Dicks by Anthology