Friday, May 18, 2012

Forgotten (and FREE) Stories: Race Williams in Carroll John Daly's "Blind Alleys"

Here's the third in our continuing series of forgotten Race Williams stories. Far as I know, it's been out of print since its first appearance in the April 1927 issue of Black Mask. Both of the earlier stories, "Alias Buttercup" and "The Super-Devil," were published while Phil Cody was editor, but this one appeared after Joe "Cap" Shaw took the helm. I was curious to see if Shaw exerted any influence on Daly, so I was paying special attention the prose. But shucks, I didn't notice a dang bit of difference.

This is an unusual case for Race, though. His wannabe client is a guy messing around with another man's wife, and when hubby takes her back by force - from under Race's nose - Race is insulted enough to take cards in the game. With, as usual, deadly consequences.

Carroll John Daly, lest we forget, was the creator of the first hardboiled private eye, and Race Williams, his most famous character, starred in the first hardboiled detective series and the first hardboiled detective novel. His stories can be pretty hokey, I'll admit, but they're always fun, and clearly a product of their era. When you read a Race Williams story, you're experiencing a bit of hardboiled history.

If you requested either of the earlier stories, I'll be sending you this one too. If not, shoot me an email at, and I'll be pleased to send scans of all three. And more to come.

More Forgotten Books this week at Sweet Freedom.


Todd Mason said...

Daly was, early on, a major star of BLACK MASK, and probably could throw his weight around even if Shaw wanted to fiddle.

Todd Mason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ron Smyth said...

Thanks for sending this to me. I just finished reading it moments ago. I'm aware of the flaws in Daly's writing but Race Williams is a terrific character and Daly does have some excellent turns of phrase.

David Cranmer said...

I never get tired of reading Daly.