(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Usually credited with creating the hard-boiled detective, Carroll John Daly began his writing career in 1922, and between that year and his death he published more than a dozen novels and 250 short stories. Daly was a pathfinder whose writing skills were unpolished but whose sense of audience in the 1920’s and early 1930’s was unerring. Race Williams, the protagonist in eight novels and a number of the short stories, became the prototype out of which Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer, and Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer developed. Not a gifted writer, Daly focused on providing his readers with violent physical action and uncomplicated plots. Race Williams uses his handguns and his fists in a direct assault on evildoers. He is always his own man. The novels and tales are heavily laden with racial and sexual stereotyping; their popularity in the decades before World War II attests that Daly understood the popular mind.