Re: RARA-AVIS: Re: Missing pulp detectives

Juri Nummelin (
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 14:30:09 +0200 (EET)

On Tue, 23 Nov 1999, Kevin Burton Smith wrote:

> The thing is, Baker and Nietzel's book, while a real treat for P.I.
> fans, is pretty weak when it comes to pulp eyes, so it may not mean
> too much that they're not listed. It concentrates almost exclusively
> on P.I.s published in books.

I think the problem is what someone on this list pointed out: the pulp scene is so exhaustive that it would be almost impossible to check out every single P.I. and story. And there are imitations, made in Germany and Sweden and here in Finland also. And since Finland has always been with closer cultural contacts with those countries than the United States, it's possible that the P.I's I listed are actually Swedish or German. I'm actually compiling an anthology of crime stories of the famous Finnish song writer, Reino Helismaa, who wrote for the Finnish pulps in the 30's and 40's. And most of them are in the hardboiled vein. There's a P.I. called Pete Slade and stuff like that.

> It's a great book, mind you. It's just too bad there isn't something
> similar on pulp eyes. Ron Goulart's entertaining DIME DETECTIVES is a
> pretty good starting point, but it doesn't have any of the ones you
> listed. Does anyone know of a good reference source on detectives
> from the pulps?

Michael L. Cook's "Mystery, Crime and Espionage Magazines" (or something like that) from 1983 proved very valuable to me. In it there are listed almost all the crime pulps with the lists of authors and sometimes their heroes. And included are many little-known authors like Emile Tepperman, William Corcoran and Hunt Collins. I've read that Cook has a complete index of the stories published in the pulps, but haven't been able to track it down. I don't know whether there are characters mentioned. St. James Press's "Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers" includes many pulp authors and their heroes.

But it's a pity, just like Kevin said, that there are no good source books on pulp fiction. I believe it's something of a fad in the US, but has anyone made any good source book on it?

Meanwhile I'll just skip the P.I's I mentioned. And sigh with a relief.


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