Re: RARA-AVIS: Hammett or Daly?

Mario Taboada (
Sat, 23 Oct 1999 17:31:55 -0700 (PDT)

<<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)?>>

Daly did not invent the first P.I. (old Sherlock Holmes was one, too, and not the first by any means!), but he is credited with introducing the first
*hardboiled* private-eye. His Race Williams was indeed seminal; in character and modus operandi he has a lot in common with Mike Hammer and other ultra-tough vigilantes. Daly did not match Hammett (or Whitfield, Davis, Gardner, Cain, etc.) in talent, craft, and sophistication, but he understood action. In this he was a real pioneer.


Mario Taboada

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