Katherine Brocklebank is notable as the only identified female author in Black Mask's entire run. "Bracelets" (Dec. 1928) is the first about Tex of the Border Patrol. Penzler reveals in the notes that magazine readers of the time, and this wasn't limited to Black Mask, made known in letters that they didn't like female main characters or authors. This is utterly ridiculous because one of the better stories is William Cole's clever "Waiting for Rusty" (Oct. 1939) about a gal named Dotty. She waits holed up in a tavern for her fella until the news of his capture on the radio reveals a detail that he was never going to come even if he hadn't got pinched.
This book also features some rare material. Creator of Doc Savage, Lester Dent also created boatman Oscar Sail. "Luck" is a never before published, early draft of "Sail," which Dent preferred over the published version because of the rewrites he had to do. Ramon Decolta's Jo Gar was a Filipino detective created respectively as opposed to some of the Asian caricatures of the era. "Rainbow Diamonds" (Feb-Aug 1931) is six connected stories that are being published in book form for the first time.
The Maltese Falcon fans will be thrilled to discover the original serialized version of Hammett's story, which ran from Sept 1929 to January 1930. Penzler's notes reveal "more than two thousand textural differences" occurred when it moved from the magazine to novel. Published in its original form for the first time in over 80 years, it's the stuff dreams are made of.
No matter the reader's level of interest, from serious aficionado to curious novice, Penzler strikes gold again, overseeing this latest collection of entertaining pulp stories. He deserves great thanks for helping to preserve and drawing attention to these stories.