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Carroll John Daly: Hard Boiled Detective Writer




I believe I have Wiggy to thank for this one.













IN DEFENSE OF CARROLL JOHN DALY




"It is a recorded fact that Daly, in the pages of Black Mask in 1923,
produced the first hardboiled private eye story, predating Hammett's first Continental
Op tale by a number of months. It is also a fact that Daly was no flash-ln-the-pan.
His main character, New York shamus Race Williams, was a star attraction in the pulps
as late as 1955. These are facts which the critics and scholars cannot argue. Yet upon
admitting them, they-from Ron Goulart to David Madden to William Nolan to Steinbrunner/Penzler
and back again-all declare Daly as "unreadable" by today's standards, suggest
that his only real contribution to the genre was being the first at bat, and express
relief that development of the form was left to more competent hands like Hammett and
Chandler."


I'll have to make up my own mind about whether or not CJD is "unreadable" - which will obviously involve getting my hands on some of his books..