Where else can you read this kind of great description but in pulp mysteries? “I was sitting at my desk, wondering about the office rent, when the door opened and in walked in the most beautiful assemblage of female parts that ever shrugged into a mink coat. She had hair the color of burnished copper and dead white skin and her eyes were as green and as hard as emeralds.” They just don’t write them like that anymore.
Hard Boiled Detectives: 23 Great Stories from Dime Detective Magazine is another wonderful anthology of pulp mysteries by the masters: Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler and more. These stories range from the 1930s to the 1950s. I personally can’t get enough of this stuff.
So, if you’re looking to expand your mystery horizons and you don’t want to tackle Otto Penzler’s 1,100 page anthologies The Black Lizard Big Book of Pulps and The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories, then this is a good staring point.