The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories (Vintage Crime/Black Lizard)

Otto Penzler

Language: English

Pages: 1136

ISBN: 0307455432

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

An unstoppable anthology of crime stories culled from Black Mask magazine the legendary publication that turned a pulp phenomenon into literary mainstream. 
Black Mask was the apotheosis of noir.  It was the magazine where the first hardboiled detective story, which was written by Carroll John Daly appeared.  It was the slum in which such American literary titans like Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler got their start, and it was the home of stories with titles like “Murder Is Bad Luck,” “Ten Carets of Lead,” and “Drop Dead Twice.” Collected here is best of the best, the hardest of the hardboiled, and the darkest of the dark of America’s finest crime fiction. This masterpiece collection represents a high watermark of America’s underbelly. Crime writing gets no better than this.

   • Deadly Diamonds
   • Dancing Rats
   • A Prize Fighter Fighting for His Life
   • A Parrot that Wouldn’t Talk

   • Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon as it was originally published
   • Lester Dent's Luck in print for the first time














alone with the money. The other was to switch the stuff, and when your punks missed up on me last night you had to work it this way to get the money. You fooled Peale and lots of others. When he started to squawk last night, kidding me for being a smart guy before he gave the inside, probably, on how you had switched the stuff on him too, you fed him a steel slug to shut his mouth.” Russell said: “Yes,” in a clipped, hard sound. His eyes had lost all depth, become pinpoints of blued metal. His

took it. Angel beamed. “You know,” Plouffe said, “he’s really a pretty good guy. Maybe we should ought to tell him the truth, Toomey.” “Truth?” Smith said. “You owe me some money,” Plouffe declared, pacing forward to the desk behind which Smith stood. “I’ll match you to see whether I get it or not.” He took a coin from his pocket and flipped it. Slightly bewildered, Smith did likewise. “Heads,” Smith said. Plouffe thrust out his hand with the coin on the back of it. It wasn’t a coin. Not

An eyebrow went up. “Will a drink help?” “No … I’m dumb,” he confessed. “When I look back, I see how dumb I am. The more I think of it, the funnier it seems.… I mean the way all these enterprises—wrestling, bike races, hockey, smokers—the way they all slipped away from the Colosseum to outlying dumps. You’re the only man big enough in this town to’ve worked a racket like that, Cardiac!” Cardiac looked bored. “Rave on, Skipper,” he said offhand, waving a cigarette languidly. There was a

used over the telephone. When it was over, the young cop stepped forward, jaw first. “All right, by God! Now you can tell us the truth!” The shaking policeman got up slowly, holding his shiny damp cigar and looking miserable. “Now, Joey, that way won’t do it.” Joey grabbed Sail’s right wrist and squeezed it. “The hell it won’t! Lewis says there was human blood on the dock along with the fish blood!” The shaking policeman said, “Now, Joey.” Joey shouted, “A lot of people heard somebody let

rose yawning and stretching. “We’ve asked what we came to ask,” Dundy said, frowning over eyes hard as green pebbles. He held his mustached upper lip tight against his teeth, letting his lower lip push the words out. “We’ve told you more than you’ve told us. That’s fair enough. You know me, Spade. If you did or you didn’t you’ll get a square deal out of me, and most of the breaks. I don’t know that I’d blame you a hell of a lot for dropping him, but that won’t keep me from nailing you.” “Fair

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