Written at the height of Dime Detective’s popularity, author William E. Barrett (Lilies of the Field) penned this series featuring newspaperman Dean Culver, whose column—The Blue Barrel—dispensed gossip on the criminal underworld. No one called Dean Culver the Blue Barrel—for no one knew he was the author of the underworld-gossip column signed with that name each night in the Morning Star. If the easy-money players had ever guessed that the man who paid them off was the Walter Winchell of the other side of the law, he’d he cashing in his own checks at the first turn of the wheel, instead of those of the gamblers he spun it for.
The Blue Barrel appeared in the mid-1930s within the pages of Dime Detective, the prestigious crime pulp second only to the legendary Black Mask in its impact on the genre.
The Complete Cases of the Blue Barrel, Volume 1 (The Dime Detective Library) by William E. Barrett contains the following stories:
- “Dead Man’s Choice”
- “The Mobster Man”
- “The Blue Barrel”
- “Death on the Double-O”
- “A Man’s Last Hours”
- “Ring Around a Murder”