The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories


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, ...

See more details below
$19.27 price
(Save 22%)$25.00 List Price

Pick Up In Store

Reserve and pick up in 60 minutes at your local store

Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (21) from $4.77   
  • New (10) from $14.76   
  • Used (11) from $4.77   
The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories

Available on NOOK devices and apps  
  • NOOK Devices
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 7.0
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 NOOK 10.1
  • NOOK HD Tablet
  • NOOK HD+ Tablet
  • NOOK eReaders
  • NOOK Color
  • NOOK Tablet
  • Tablet/Phone
  • NOOK for Windows 8 Tablet
  • NOOK for iOS
  • NOOK for Android
  • NOOK Kids for iPad
  • PC/Mac
  • NOOK for Windows 8
  • NOOK for PC
  • NOOK for Mac
  • NOOK for Web

Want a NOOK? Explore Now

NOOK Book (eBook)
$14.99 price


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

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Let's put it straight, like a fist in the face: this treasure trove of more than 50 stories and novels offers the best value ever for fans of hard-boiled detective fiction. In the pulp magazine Black Mask (1920-1951), Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler made their bones, with Erle Stanley Gardner and other heavyweights at their heels. As Penzler (Agents of Treachery) notes in his intros to each selection, an amazing number of these writers moved on to movies and TV. Highlights include the complete The Maltese Falcon, the original version from the pulp, unreprinted for 80 years. (Hammett made a couple of thousand changes for the hardcover novel.) The novel Rainbow Diamonds, featuring Raoul Whitfield's Filipino detective Jo Gar, appears in a book for the first time. The iconic story "Sail" by Lester "Doc Savage" Dent shows up in a variant draft, preferred by the author. The only way Penzler can top this one--a bigger book of Black Mask! (Sept.)
Library Journal
Though this is not the first collection drawn from the pages of yesteryear's Black Mask magazine, Edgar Award-winning mystery editor, publisher, and bookstore owner Penzler declares that "it is the biggest and most comprehensive." He's not kidding! Launched by H.L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan in the 1920s, Black Mask would springboard the careers of a handful of writers, raising the level of penny dreadful pulp mysteries to that of literature, while also publishing plenty of quickly hacked-out swill. This gathers the cream produced by legends like Dashiell Hammett (the godfather of hard-boiled detective fiction), Erle Stanley Gardner, Raymond Chandler, Carroll John Daly, Cornell Woolrich, and other aces. There are more than 50 stories in all, including "The Maltese Falcon" (the original serialized version, which differs from the published novel, is reproduced here for the first time since its initial 1929 publication), Chandler's "Try the Girl" (which, ultimately, became Farewell, My Lovely), and Horace McCoy's "Dirty Work." Each author receives a brief bio and the stories sport original artwork—it's a complete education on vintage crime mysteries between two covers. VERDICT A hefty hunk of hard-boiled heaven and a noir lover's dream, this will thrill the genre's many fans.—Mike Rogers, Library Journal
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307455437
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 9/21/2010
  • Series: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard Original
  • Pages: 1136
  • Sales rank: 364,078
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 2.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Otto Penzler
Otto Penzler is the proprietor of The Mysterious Bookshop in New York City. He was publisher of The Armchair Detective, the founder of the Mysterious Press and the Armchair Detective Library, and created the publishing firm Otto Penzler Books. He is a recipient of an Edgar Award for The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection and the Ellery Queen Award by the Mystery Writers of America for his many contributions to the field. He is the editor of The Vampire Archives and The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps, which was a New York Times bestseller. He is also the series editor of The Best American Mystery Stories of the Year. His other anthologies include Murder for Love, Murder for Revenge, Murder and Obsession, The 50 Greatest Mysteries of All Time, and The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century. He wrote 101 Greatest Movies of Mystery & Suspense. He lives in New York City.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Foreword         Otto Penzler
Introduction     Keith Alan Deutsch
Come and Get It                                 Erle Stanley Gardner
Cry Silence                                           Fredric Brown
Arson Plus                                           Peter Collinson
Fall Guy George                                   Harmon Coxe
Doors in the Dark                               Frederick Nebel
Luck                                                       Lester Dent
The Maltese Falcon                            Dashiell Hammett
Ten Carats of Lead                            Stewart Sterling
Murder Is Bad Luck                           Wyatt Blassingame
Her Dagger Before Me                      Talmadge Powell
One Shot Charles                               G. Booth
The Dancing Rats                               Richard Sale
Bracelets                                              Katherine Brocklebank
Diamonds Mean Death                      Thomas Walsh
Murder in the Ring                              Raoul Whitfield
The Parrot That Wouldn’t Talk        Walter C. Brown
Let the Dead Alone                             Merle Constiner
Knights of the Open Palm                Carroll John Daly
Waiting for Rusty                                William Cole
Rainbow Diamonds                            Ramon Decolta
The Ring on the Hand of Death        William Rollins Jr.
Body Snatcher                                    Theodore A. Tinsley
Murder on the Gayway                      Dwight V. Babcock
The Key                                                 Cleve F. Adams
The Bloody Bokhara                          William Campbell Gault
A Taste for Cognac                            Brett Halliday
Sauce for the Gander                          Day Keene
A Little Different                             W. T. Ballard
The Shrieking Skeleton                   Charles M. Green
Drop Dead Twice                                Hank Searls
The Sound of the Shot                       Dale Clark
Flaming Angel                                      Frederick C. Davis
Odds on Death                                    Don M. Mankiewicz
Those Catrini                                       Norvell Page
Smoke in Your Eyes                           Hugh B. Cave
Blood, Sweat and Biers                    Robert Reeves
The Black Bottle                                 Whitman Chambers
The Corpse Didn’t Kick                     Milton K. Ozaki
Try the Girl                                            Raymond Chandler
Don’t You Cry for Me                          Norbert Davis
T. McGuirk Steals a Diamond          Ray Cummings
Wait for Me                                          Steve Fisher
Ask Me Another                                  Frank Gruber
Dirty Work                                            Horace McCoy
Merely Murder                                     Julius Long
Murder in One Syllable                      John D. MacDonald
Three Apes from the East                H. H. Stinson
Death Stops Payment                       D. L. Champion
The Color of Honor                             Richard Connell
Middleman for Murder                      Bruno Fischer
The Man Who Chose the Devil        Richard Deming
Beer-Bottle Polka                               C. M. Kornbluth
Borrowed Crime                                 Cornell Woolrich

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)