Jack Boyle. Boston Blackie (1919) 318 pp. Illustrated
by W.H.D. Koerner.
The adventures of “safe-cracker de luxe” Boston Blackie, a career criminal
who is also a devoted husband, “university graduate, scholar, and gentleman.”
Blackie lives in a “cozy apartment in San Francisco” with Mary, his wife,
“best loved pal and sole confidant.” Blackie is a criminal mastermind who
has a very strong moral code that he lives by. He does not use a gun in
the commission of his crimes. He is loyal to his friends and merciless
to his enemies. He has a soft spot for children. In the forward, the author
recounts his first meeting with Boston Blackie, in Golden Gate Park four
days after the great earthquake. Blackie is caring for a group of orphaned
children. The stories in this volume originally appeared in Redbook
magazine between 1917 and 1919 and have been slightly revised by Boyle
into chapters to take on the appearance of a novel. It is the only Boston
Blackie “novel” or collection to be published. Reprinted in 1920 by A.L.
Burt Co. and in a semi-facsimile edition in 1979 by Gregg Press, New York.
Setting: San Francisco and other California locales
Baird & Greenwood 307
1001 Midnights, p. 79-80