RE: RARA-AVIS: Blask Mask Murders

From: Ron Clinton (
Date: 20 Sep 2009

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    I recall BLACK MASK MURDERS being pretty good. While this one was narrated by Hammett, the other two in the series -- THE MARBLE ORCHARD and SHARKS NEVER SLEEP -- are narrated by Raymond Chandler Erle S. Gardner, respectively. It's a decent historical-mystery series, peppered with intriguing characters and events of the time(s), and it was interesting to see Nolan vary his style to accommodate the real and imagined elements of his narrators' personalities and life stories. It's been a number of years since I read them...I don't recall with any clarity any of them being significantly better than the other, though, just a general sense that they were pleasing reads. Plus, as an expert on Hammett (and, in a more general sense, on Black Mask-era writers, with THE BLACK MASK BOYS), Nolan's writings came off as historically capable, though I admit I didn't examine them for accuracy.

    Ron C.

    > -----Original Message-----
    > From:
    > [] On Behalf Of
    > Sent: Sunday, September 20, 2009 12:46 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: RARA-AVIS: Blask Mask Murders
    > I enjoyed this novel by William Nolan featuring Dashiell
    > Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, and Raymond Chandler as
    > protagonists. It tried to be hard boiled, but came off as
    > somewhat cozy to me. It reminded me of Ron Goulart's Grouch
    > Marx detective series (which I also like).
    > Jordan
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