July 20, 2022—On August 4, Steeger Books will release five more collections of classic material culled from Black Mask Magazine, the most influential detective magazine ever published. Considered the place where hard-boiled fiction was created, these five books feature some of that title’s most popular series characters such as Cellini Smith, the Human Encyclopedia, and Jerry Frost, and are penned by some of the best, and most influential authors, from Black Mask: Robert Reeves, Frank Gruber, Theodore A. Tinsley, Joseph T. Shaw, and Horace McCoy. These editions are sourced from the original magazine texts and include all of the original illustrations as well as introductions by John Wooley, Will Murray, Kenneth S. White, and Keith Alan Deutsch.
These titles will be for sale in person at PulpFest in Pittsburgh, PA on August 4, as well as on steegerbooks.com that same week.
Somewhere in Mexico: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Jerry Frost, Volume 1
Written by Horace McCoy; cover by Jes Schlaikjer; illustrations by Arthur Rodman Bowker; introduction by John Wooley
Remembered for his novel They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?, author Horace McCoy began his writing career as a mainstay during the golden age of Black Mask Magazine, selling nearly 20 stories to editor Joseph T. Shaw. A former aviator, McCoy penned 14 gritty stories of Jerry Frost for Black Mask: a flying Texas Ranger, one of “Hell’s Stepsons” who patrolled the border. It was McCoy’s greatest work for the pulps prior to departing for a lengthy career as a scriptwriter.
This edition collects the first half of the Frost series, most of which have never before been reprinted. Also including an all-new introduction by John Wooley.
338 pages | $29.95 softcover | $39.95 hardcover
Dog Eat Dog: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Cellini Smith, Volume 2
Written by Robert Reeves; cover by Rafael DeSoto; illustrations by Peter Kuhlhoff; introduction by Kenneth S. White
Cellini Smith returns! Los Angeles private detective Cellini Smith is hired by the pugs who frequent the Hangover Club to find the killer of Morton Miles, ex-champ and manager of the club. The pugs hope Cellini can pin the kill on the Terrible Turk, a giant wrestler who operates a bowling alley in town, and whom all the pugs hate. The Turk, in turn, has hired another private op to protect his own interests.
As all of the likeliest suspects turn up dead, Cellini learns that the players in this mystery have all been partners in a deal to ship scrap iron to Japan. It’ll take all of Cellini’s wits to unravel the plot and find the true murderer.
286 pages | $29.95 softcover | $39.95 hardcover
Murder on the Midway: The Complete Black Mask Cases of the Human Encyclopedia, Volume 1
Written by Frank Gruber; cover by J. George Janes; illustrations by Wynne W. Davies, Harold Heffernan & Arthur Rodman Bowker; introduction by Keith Alan Deutsch
Traveling encyclopedia salesman Oliver Quade may be the most unlikely detective to appear in the pages of the pulp magazines of the 1930s. Known for marveling crowds by reciting the memorized contents of The Compendium of Human Knowledge, Quade—known better as The Human Encyclopedia—has a habit of letting this knowledge lead him into the middle of one murder investigation after another.
Collected for the first time are the first half of The Human Encyclopedia stories, including the rare early stories: most of which have never before been reprinted. Also including all of the original magazine illustrations and an authoritative introduction by Black Mask conservator Keith Alan Deutsch.
336 pages | $29.95 softcover | $39.95 hardcover
Murder Maze: The Complete Black Mask Cases of Jerry Tracy, Volume 2
Written by Theodore A. Tinsley; cover by John Drew; illustrations by Arthur Rodman Bowker; introduction by Will Murray
Premiering in the pages of Black Mask Magazine during the speak of editor Joseph T. Shaw’s era, author Theodore A. Tinsley penned one of the longest-running and most popular series to see print in the pages of that historic Detective magazine. Celebrity gossip reporter for The Daily Planet, Jerry Tracy was a cynical, wisecracking columnist. Though a bit of a muckraker, Tracy had a sense of justice when it came to his friends and his fellow New York City residents.
Written by one of the authors of The Shadow magazine, these tough-written stories are a fast-paced and action-packed read. Featuring an all-new introduction by Will Murray. Collecting the next third of the series.
452 pages | $34.95 softcover | $44.95 hardcover
It Happened at the Lake
Written by Joseph T. Shaw; cover by John Drew
The famed editor of Black Mask—Joseph T. Shaw—penned this novel of murder at a country estate soon after leaving the employ of that famous hard-boiled magazine. A tale of blackmail, skulduggery, gunfights, this story is a rare, early hard-boiled novel and has never before been reprinted.
284 pages | $24.95 softcover | $34.95 hardcover