Friday, April 12, 2019

Forgotten Stories: "Something to Remember" by Frederick Nebel (1940)

A long, long time ago, someone called Frederick Nebel "The Backbone of Black Mask." Okay, I confess it was me, which may make it suspect, but does not make it untrue. During the mag's glory years under "Cap" Shaw, only Erle Stanley Gardner made more appearances than Nebel. But while Gardner's style varied and sometimes pedaled softly, Nebel's was consistently tough, in the Hammett tradition. 

Thanks to Altus Press, dang near all of Nebel's crime stories are now in print - filling 11 volumes. (His greatest work, the four-volume complete McBride & Kennedy collection, is essential reading for any fan of hardboiled fiction.) Black Dog Books and Altus have also brought back big chunks of his air adventure and Northwest stories. But there are still a few outliers, including most of his stories for the slick magazines. I came across a stack of those in my storage unit the other day, and figured it was time to resurrect one. "Something to Remember" appeared in the November 30, 1940 issue of Collier's.

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