Wednesday, November 20, 2013

AT LAST! The Complete Black Mask Adventures of MacBride & Kennedy by Frederick Nebel


Someone* once called Frederick Nebel "the backbone of Black Mask," and he wasn't kidding. Next to Dashiell Hammett, Nebel was the magazine's most important contributor during the Joe Shaw years, and the ten-year saga of police Captain Steve MacBride and reporter Kennedy of the Free Press was Nebel's masterwork. And now, at long, long last, Altus Press is rolling out the whole shebang - 36 hardboiled novelettes that will soon fill four volumes.

This first volume, which is NOW AVAILABLE, kicks things off in grand style, with five connected stories (that could easily have been published as a novel) and four more adventures that propel Richmond City into the next stage of the series. I was honored to write the book's Introduction, and while doing so read all 36 stories in order. Damn, what a great experience! I got so enthused t it took me ten thousand words to do the project justice. Those ten thousand words appear in the book - and also on the Black Mask Magazine.com website.

I suggest you order the book right now, and read the Introduction RIGHT HERE while you're waiting for it to arrive. But whatever you do, don't stop with Volume 1. This is a series that grows and evolves, just as Nebel was growing and evolving as a writer, and you'll want to be there for the whole journey.



*OK, I admit it was me, back in 1981, but I was right.

6 comments:

Brian Drake said...

That was a wonderful introduction and I am as enthusiastic as you about this collection and, actually, the Donahue and Cardigan collections too. There was a character named Cardigan in the first Richmond City story; same person?

Nebel gives us what Hammett and Cain did not: a large amount of material to enjoy, and I can't wait to dig into these volumes.

Evan Lewis said...

Those Cardigan characters are similar, Brian. I'd say it's "almost" the same guy, but not quite. Too bad.

Stephen Mertz said...

Evan,

Just read the Introduction, which is an exemplary piece of work that could well serve as the future model for anyone writing about any writer: informative, exhaustive, entertaining. One of the best things you've ever done. Thank you for providing this study of a great, forgotten writer. Gotta go now. Think I'll read me some Nebel...

Richard said...

Great job, fella, great job. I knew this was coming, but didn't know it was out. I'll be ordering it TODAY.

Richard said...

That wasn't enough. You had a lot to do with this seeing print, you urged the fine folks at Altus to continue the Nebel books, after they did Cardigan and Donahue, to include this series. I don't think we'd have this volume in our hands (or in my case in my books on the way list) without your efforts. That's a fine, informative introduction. Congratulations. I'll be wanting my copy signed, once it comes.

Cap'n Bob said...

That was some fine writing, Dave/Evan. You left out the final home of the Maltese Falcon that Hammett gave to Nebel, though. Somewhere in Portland, as I recall...