New York: Edward J. Clode, 1927. First Edition. Daly's second novel, first serialized in the pages of Black Mask between June-September, 1927, introducing tough-guy detective Race Williams. Daly (1889-1958) is credited with pioneering the hard-boiled genre, writing in a vernacular style so resonant with readers that it shifted Black Mask's focus from traditional mystery fiction to hard-boiled crime fiction. His Race Williams stories in the pulp magazine were so popular that his on the front cover would cause sales to rise 15%. The first appearance of Race Williams preceded the debut of Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op by several months, and The Snarl of the Beast preceded Red Harvest by two years. A rarity in the first state dustjacket, with only a single other example (badly worn) appearing at auction (Swann, 2011), billed at the time as the only known copy. Clode reissued the book in a remainder binding (brown cloth, stamped in yellow), in a dustjacket with identical artwork (but different coloration), and flaps advertising titles published in 1931; for many years, this was accepted as the first edition (cf.the Lackritz copy, Christies, 24 September, 2002), though it is now considered a reprint. A superior copy of the first hard-boiled novel. Pronzini & Muller, p.181; Hubin, p.104. Item #4188
First Printing. Octavo (19.25cm); emerald green cloth, with titling and decorations stamped in red and black on spine and front cover; red topstain; dustjacket; viii,[9-10],11-318,pp. Some faint, scattered foxing to endpapers, faint pressure stamp of R.H. Macy & Co., Inc. to upper margin of title page, else very Near Fine. In the correct first state dustjacket, priced $2.00, with a synopsis for Snarl on front flap, and for Half A Clue by Richard H. Watkins on rear flap; pinpoint wear to extremities, a few faint surface scratches to rear panel, else Fine and unrestored. Provenance: From the collection of Otto Penzler.