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Black Mask 4: The Parrot That Wouldn’t Talk

Fiction: Mystery & Detective / Short Stories
Unabridged   7 hour(s)
Publication date: 12/06/2011

Black Mask 4: The Parrot That Wouldn’t Talk

And Other Crime Fiction from the Legendary Magazine

Available from major retailers or BUY FROM AMAZON
Audio CD ISBN:9781611744675
Digital Download ISBN:9781611744682


Classic pulp fiction at its finest, drawn from the pages of the iconic magazine, Black Mask 1 features stories by Katherine Brocklebank, Thomas Walsh, Raoul Whitfield, and others.

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Product Description

From its launch in 1920 until its demise in 1951, the magazine Black Mask published pulp crime fiction. The first hard-boiled detective stories appeared on its pages. Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, Erle Stanley Gardner and John D. MacDonald got their start in Black Mask. The urban crime stories that appeared in Black Mask helped to shape American culture. Modern computer games, films, and television are rooted in the fiction popularized by “the seminal and venerated mystery pulp magazine” (Booklist).

Otto Penzler selected and wrote introductions to the best of the best, the darkest of these dark, vintage stories for the collection The Black Lizard Big Book of Black Mask Stories. Now that collection is available for the first time on audio.

  • “Bracelets” by Katherine Brocklebank; read by Carol Monda
  • “Diamonds Mean Death” by Thomas Walsh; read by Alan Sklar
  • “Murder in the Ring” by Raoul Whitfield; read by Jeff Gurner
  • “The Parrot That Wouldn’t Talk” by Walter C. Brown; read by Pete Larkin
  • “Let the Dead Alone” by Merle Constiner; read by Oliver Wyman


“Any fan of crime stories and radio shows will find these a compelling listen, spiced with a variety of accomplished narrators.”
      —The Bookwatch

“Are reminiscent of the swagger, punch, and sass of old-time radio crime dramas. . . . The enthusiastic narrators don’t miss a trick. Like B-movie actors stepping up to their stylized roles, they propel these stories along with cleverness and suspense, making this production just plain fun.”

“Another two-fisted dream fest for hard-boiled fiction lovers.”
      —Library Journal

“Hardboiled crime fiction was never better than in the pages of Black Mask magazine, and Black Mask has never been better than in these vibrant, exciting audio editions. Close your eyes and you can practically smell the gunfire and whiskey.”
      —Charles Ardai

“The stories of Black Mask and the audio book are a love-match as inevitable and passionate and entrancing as a private eye and a femme fatale. This is a series that will make you want to get in your car in the middle of a rainy night and drive around listening.”
      —Robert Olen Butler, author of The Hot Country, a Christopher Marlowe Cobb Thriller

“The Black Mask Audio Series from Otto Penzler is a tribute to early pulp mystery and detective fiction that was highly entertaining, exciting and terrifically written. But this collection is far more than a nostalgic salute to the past, it’s downright fun to enjoy in the present.”
      —Joseph Wambaugh

“Pitch-perfect performances of stories that are as rollicking as they are artful. I drove from Delaware to Mississippi on one long Black Mask bender, and if it weren’t for the Gulf of Mexico I’d still be driving.”
      —Michael Kardos, author of The Three-Day Affair

Author Bio

OTTO PENZLER has edited numerous mystery anthologies including The Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection (with Chris Steinbrunner) and The Lineup, both Edgar Award winners. He is the proprietor of the Mysterious Bookshop in Manhattan and founder of the Mysterious Press, now a Grove/Atlantic imprint.