Down Mean Streets

DÉTECTIVE NOIR

Black Mask, September 1929_ (The Maltese

The Détective Noir series is the result of an experiment in writing flash fiction in the style of popular genres: the western, the horror, and, of course, the detective story.

When it comes to detective stories, before Christie's Poirot or Doyle’s Sherlock, I think of the 1930’s hardboiled, the stories read in pulp magazines like the Black Mask and Dime Detective.

The hardboiled detective is more of an antihero, typified by Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade or the Continental Op, or, later, Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe, and countless others.

Black Mask, September 1929 (The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett)

Slick, cynical, often misogynistic, these detectives go about their business amidst the violence of organized crime during the era of Prohibition and its aftermath while tangling with their own vices and femme fatales as dangerous as the criminals themselves.

I liked working with this character so much that he became the inspiration for a full-length story and a novel too.

The illustrations for the Détective Noir stories are once more the work of Hannes Pasqualini, who here used himself as the model for the detective's physical appearance.

Dime Detective Magazine 1950 02.jpg

Dime Detective Magazine, 1950 (Cover art by Norman 'Blaine' Saunders)

Détective Noir