A daily note on some event in the history of mystery fiction.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
6/1/1923 The hardboiled detective is born
June 1, 1923. The issue of Black Mask with this cover date fetured "Knights of the Open Palm," by Carroll John Daly. It is not quite the first story about a two-fisted private eye - that was Daly's "Three Gun Terry," which appeared a month earlier -- but its hero Race Williams, was the first PI to continue in a series of short stories.
It's good that Race Williams has that to recommend him because few readers these days love him for his brains or writing skills. He's a pretty blunt guy, though. In one story he announces his fee as "$25 an hour, plus $3.75 per man killed." And he got those bonuses often.