Carroll John Daly

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Carroll John Daly (September 14, 1889 – January 16, 1958) was a writer of crime fiction. He has been credited with creating the first hard-boiled story, "The False Burton Combs," published in Black Mask magazine in December 1922, followed closely by "It's All in the Game" (Black Mask, April 1923) and the PI story "Three Gun Terry" (Black Mask, May 1923).[1][2] Daly's private detective Race Williams first appeared in "Knights of the Open Palm," published June 1, 1923, in Black Mask and predating the October 1923 debut of Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op character.[3][4][5] During that era, Daly was considered the leader of the naturalistic school of crime writers. Daly's Williams was a rough-and-ready character with a sharp tongue and established the model for many later acerbic private eyes.


  • The White Circle (1926)
  • The Snarl of the Beast (1927)
  • Man in the Shadows (1928)
  • The Hidden Hand (1929)
  • The Tag Murders (1930)
  • Tainted Power (1931)
  • The Third Murderer (1931)
  • The Amateur Murderer (1933)
  • Murder Won’t Wait (1933)
  • Murder from the East (1935)
  • Mr. Strang (1936)
  • The Mystery of the Smoking Gun (1936)
  • The Emperor of Evil (1937)
  • Better Corpses (1940)
  • Murder at Our House (1950)
  • Ready to Burn (1951)


  1. ^ Gruesser, John Cullen (2010). A Century of Detection: Twenty Great Mystery Stories, 1841-1940. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. p. 297. ISBN 9780786446506. 
  2. ^ Panek, Leroy Lad (1990). Probable Cause: Crime Fiction in America. Bowling Green, OH: Popular Press. p. 120. ISBN 9780879724856. 
  3. ^ Nolan, William F. (1985). The Black Mask Boys: Masters in the Hard-Boiled School of Detective Fiction. William Morrow & Company. p. 273. ISBN 0-688-03966-9. 
  4. ^ Mertz, Stephen. ""In Defense of Carroll John Daly," in Black Mask Online,". 
  5. ^ Barson, Michael S. (Fall–Winter 1981). "'There's No Sex in Crime': The Two-Fisted Homilies of Race Williams". Clues: A Journal of Detection 2 (2): 103–12. 

Other resources[edit]

Daly, Carroll John (1947). "The Ambulating Lady" [essay on his writing style]. Writer's Digest April 1947. Repr. Clues: A Journal of Detection 2.2 (1981): 113-15.

External links[edit]