Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler or Hammett? -- Plus A Glance At John Morgan Wilson

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 03 Dec 2003

Only dipping in here and there on this debate, so if I repeat something somebody else said, forgive me.

--- wrote:
> Yes, I meant to say something like "one-man
> operator," in contrast to the Op.
> I've never read Daly (I've heard it isn't worth it)

The only Daly I've read is THE ADVENTURES OF RACE WILLIAMS collection that came out a few years ago from Mysterious Press. I don't know if I'd exactly say he's
"not worth it" -- it's true he doesn't travel as well as a lot of his contemporaries, though. Maybe you could put it this way: if you're really interested in PI or hardboiled fiction, he's a writer you should read at least a little of, since he's so historically important. There's also a certain thread of hardboiled fiction that can be traced ultimately to Daly, too
(Spillane and Vachss come to mind). He's not *good*, though.

As for the detectives in the
> classic English tradition,
> aren't they all amateurs?

I'm sure someone else will beat me to the punch on this, but Sherlock Holmes is a PI (as is Hercule Poirot in the early stories, if I remember right). Many other detectives of the British Golden Age were cops (Marsh's Alleyn; Tey's whoever-it-was).



===== Doug Bassett

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