From the Raymond Chandler File: Finger Man by Raymond Chandler (Avon Books 219, Published 1950, Cover Artist: unknown). “Finger Man” is a short story written by Raymond Chandler, originally published in Black Mask magazine in its October 1934 issue (it was Chandler’s third published short story). He named the detective/tough guy in the short story Carmady. Carmady later morphed into Philip Marlowe. Carmady appeared in two short stories, “Finger Man” and “Goldfish.” The two Carmady tales later appeared in a book of short stories titled The Simple Art of Murder, which featured Chandler’s legendary essay of the same name. In Simple Art, Chandler changed Carmady’s name to Philip Marlowe. This book cover for Finger Man(pictured above) is a rarity: A pulp book of Chandler stories, named after the ‘34 Black Mask story.
This extremely rare photo of the first west coast Black Mask get-together on January 11, 1936 captures possibly the only meeting of several of these authors.
Pictured in the back row, from left to right, are Raymond J. Moffatt, Raymond Chandler, Herbert Stinson, Dwight Babcock, Eric Taylor and Dashiell Hammett. In the front row, again from left to right, are Arthur Barnes (?), John K. Butler, W. T. Ballard, Horace McCoy and Norbert Davis.