Contribution

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Cleve F. Adams was one of few pulp writers to make the successful transition to hardcover publication. Although he is an underrated author, eclipsed by his contemporary, Raymond Chandler , Adams brought a new dimension to the genre. Chandler’s image of the private investigator as knight-errant is inverted by Adams into the image of private investigator as antihero. Working in the hard-boiled tradition of Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, Adams has been acclaimed as “one of the best of the tough detective story writers of the middle and late thirties.” His private-investigator novels have been described as unique, having captured “the gray and gritty feel of the time as powerfully as Chandler” and having created an enduring image of the private detective. Adams regarded motive and characterization as the essential elements of mystery and detective fiction. His fast-paced novels present convincing, credible characters and capture the political violence and corruption of the 1930’s.