Friday, July 13, 2012

Forgotten (and FREE) Stories: Race Williams in "Death for Two" by Carroll John Daly

This month's free Race Williams adventure begins on a different note. For most of the story's first scene, we seem to be in the point-of-view of Race's friend (and just maybe the only honest cop in New York) Sergeant  O'Rourke. But we soon come to realize it's Race telling the story - as he heard it from O'Rourke himself.

The good sergeant, you see, gets gunned down by a quick-fingered miscreant called Killer Mertes. And while O'Rourke survives, he's wounded severely enough to keep him out of action for a while. So he asks Race to bring Killer to justice, knowing full well that Race's idea of justice is a bullet smack between the eyes.

"Death for Two" appeared in the Sept. 1931 issue of Black Mask, and has appeared nowhere since. It's the fifth in our continuing series of The Lost Adventures of Race Williams. If you're among the growing legion of fans who requested scans of "Alias Buttercup," "The Super-Devil," "Blind Alleys," or "Murder by Mail" (details HERE), rest easy. "Death for Two" will soon be blasting its way into your email box. If not, write me at and I'll shoot this story - along with the others - back to you.

By a strange coincidence, I read "Death for Two" on the same day I read Frederick Nebel's "Pearls are Tears," which appeared, back-to-back with the Daly story, in the very same issue of Black Mask. Sadly, I don't own that issue, but I read "Pearls are Tears" in the highly recommended new Altus Press collection, Tough as Nails, which collects the complete adventures of Donny Donahue. Nebel, of course, was a far more accomplished writer than Daly, and it shows, but Daly is still a kick to read. I like them both!

And if you've not yet heard the news, Black Dog Books will be releasing a new collection of Daly stories in October. Race Williams' Double Date features four Race stories from the late '40s and early '50s. I think you'll find it interesting to compare them to the early Race adventures I've been featuring here. Race Williams' Double Date will also include tales of two other Daly heroes, Satan Hall (my personal favorite) and Doc Fay, an intro and an article by Steve Mertz, and even a few words from me. Is it October yet? I wish.

Do not fail to beat feet over to pattinase for more Forgotten Books!


Deka Black said...

only with stories never reprionted since first publication we could have a entire library! A anthology of such stories would be interesting

George said...

I have a Carroll John Daly on my stack. I may have to move it closer to the top after reading this review!

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to reading this one as soon as my eyes recover from my eye doctor visit this morning!

Norman said...

Many thanks. I ordered "Tough as Nails" through Amazon today and am looking forward to the new Daly collection in October.

Oscar Case said...

I have too many unread books on hand right now, but maybe by October I'll have time for a look.

I like that picture in the blog header. The artist couldn't find a place for anymore bodies, I think.