Noir writer in the Shadows: Carroll John Daly


The Man in the Shadows, Grosset & Dunlap, 1928 (1930s reprint)

Carroll John Daly is the inventor of noir, having written a series of hardboiled stories even before Dashiell Hammett. He created the first  Black Mask P.I, Race Williams, before Hammett’s Continental Op (both character debuted in 1923). He was the most popular pulp magazine author and it was said that the sole mention of his name on their covers meant a 15% increase in sales. After the war, Mickey Spillane, whose success with Mike Hammer far surpassed Daly’s, would acknowledge his debt to him; Daly’s was “the first and only style of writing” that influenced him in any way. Despite all this, Daly is now largely forgotten. His books were rarely translated, and are no longer read. Yet, his output was not contained to writing stories for pulp magazines, with 11 hardback crime novels published between 1926 and 1937.


Carroll John  Daly, The Snarl of the Beast, Edward J. Clode, Inc., 1927


Carroll John  Daly, The Hidden Hand,  Edward J. Clode, Inc., 1929


Carroll John  Daly,The Tag Murders, Edward J. Clode, Inc., 1930


Carroll John  Daly, Tainted Power Daly, Edward J. Clode, Inc. 1931

Third p4the third

Carroll John  Daly, The Third Murderer, Farrar & Rinehart, Inc., 1931


Carroll John  Daly, The Mystery of the Smoking Gun,  A. L. Burt Company, 1936


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