Contribution

(Masterpieces of Fiction, Detective and Mystery Edition)

Although he was more famous for his southern black dialect fiction of the 1920’s and early 1930’s, which he considered neither biased nor derogatory, Octavus Roy Cohen also created a memorable detective. Jim Hanvey, Detective (1923), the collection of short fiction that first recounted the adventures of the big, slow-moving, cigar-smoking sleuth, was considered by Ellery Queen to be “a book of historical value with a high quality of literary style.” Two of the short stories, “Common Stock” and “Pink Bait,” were later chosen by Eugene Thwing as part of his anthology of mystery fiction, The World’s Best One Hundred Detective Stories (1929). In addition, Cohen’s work represented one of the early, minor crossovers to the more realistic detective fiction of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler.