Re: RARA-AVIS: Hammett or Daly?

Bill Hagen (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 13:08:33 -0500 (CDT)

James Doherty writes (snipped), "While Daly was undoubtedly first with a PI character
       named "Three-Gun" Terry Mack, the Op beat Race Williams into print by
       several months. Further, although "Three-Gun Terry," the
       first-ever story about a hard-boiled sleuth who defines his
       profession as a private detective, beat "Arson Plus," the first
       Op story, into print by a few scant weeks,.."

Have we got that right? (Noting pabergin's qualification that Daly had a hard-boiled non-PI adventurer as early as 1922.) Terry Mack in May 1923, Race Williams in June 1923 Black Mask, but Op was "several months" earlier than June?? That would make Op the first hard-boiled PI, wouldn't it? My source (Goulart, The Dime Detectives) says the first Op story was not published until Oct. 1923.

If Goulart is wrong, I'd like to know, and the actual date of the first Op, so I can make a marginal correction in his book! (If Goulart is right, the
"race to the mailbox" is a fiction created by some rare birds.)

Bill Hagen

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