The Hardboiled Dicks, edited by Ron Goulart

The Hardboiled Dicks - Ron Goulart

This was a fantastic anthology of hard-boiled detective fiction from the pulp golden age. All eight stories feature a short paragraph introducing the author, their signature characters and the context of original publication. The end of the book has a brief reading list detailing full length novels and collections published that, at the time of this 1960s publication, could be found in remote lending libraries that didn't weed their collections too often. Ha!


These stories deserve a blow-by-blow account of highlights and misfires, but I didn't keep any notes while reading this one. 'China Man' had some racist elements in the underbelly of Manila, but Raoul Whitefield's Filipino private-eye was a refreshing change of pace nonetheless. There were a few other racist and sexist elements that cropped up in these stories, but nothing shocking or unexpected considering the genre.


This was a gag gift from a friend, but I enjoyed it very much. With the exception of 'China Man', the stories were set in the United States in L.A., New York, a mountain resort, Florida among others. The detectives were professional private eyes, gangsters, cab men and reporters. I suspect this is as good a survey of the genre as you're likely to find.