RARA-AVIS: Hammett or Daly?

Reed Andrus (randrus@home.com)
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 17:00:20 -0700

> Date: Fri, 22 Oct 1999 17:46:33 -0400 (EDT)
> From: William Denton <buff@pobox.com>

> Also, the current New Yorker (the thick two-in-one) has a capsule review
> of _Nightmare Town_ that's full of praise.
> Bill

My advance apologies if this is a dumb question. Over on another listserv devoted to Golden Age Detectives, there is a thread that started with a question about who was the most seminal influence in hardboiled fiction. The usual suspects have been identified and examined, with Ellery Queen apparently picked out of the lineup. All well and good, I suppose, for fans of his work. But there was an interesting retaliation against another's choice of Hammett -- to the effect that Hammett didn't invent the private eye, Carroll John Daly did. Is there a consensus among Rara-avians that Race Williams was the first PI? Did Daley's work pre-date Hammett's (I'm going back to my reference works)?

Any thoughts or comments, or is this a thread that's already been driven into the mould?

... Reed

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