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 magazine.
Brilliant, decisive, and hard-charging, Deputy Inspector Allhoff was the NYPD's ace detective until bullets from a mobster's machine gun robbed him of his legs, his career, and - in the opinion of an associate - his sanity. Yet Allhoff was too good a man to be put out to pasture, so New York's police commissioner found a way to keep him employed and refer to him such cases as the department couldn't or wouldn't handle. Confined to a wheelchair and operating from a seedy tenement flat, Allhoff is assisted by two cops.