HISTORY OF THE MYSTERY - 1920s
|BLACK MASK - Mystery Reviews|
Hard-boiled fiction evolved in the 1920s in popular "pulp" magazines with tough talking detectives, who solved tough crimes. These detectives were hard-edged and lived by strict codes of honor.
The most famous pulp magazine was the Black Mask. It started out publishing adventure stories, but eventually only published detective fiction. Its editor, Joseph Thompson Shaw, wanted stories that reflected the reality of life in America in the twenties. It came to symbolize the hard-boiled school of writing. Stories about Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade and Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe made frequent appearances.