Tough Dick Donahue
Created by Frederick Nebel

One of the hardest-boiled of the hard-boiled dicks was prolific pulpster Frederick Nebel's private eye TOUGH DICK DONAHUE, whom the Black Mask editors hoped would replace The Continental Op after Dashiell Hammett stopped writing for that magazine.

A big, burly Irishman and ex-cop, Donahue worked for the New York-based Inter-State Detective Agency run by Asa Hinkle, and could be counted on to trade in hot lead or fisticuffs, whatever the job called for.

He got the it done.

Nebel's other major private eye was Jack Cardigan, a slightly tougher and smarter version of Donahue who appeared in the pages of Dime Detective. But Nebel was probably best known for his stories featuring hardboiled crime reporter Kennedy of The Free Press and his buddy, Captain Steve MacBride.


  • "Rough Justice" (November 1930, Black Mask)
  • "The Red-Hots" (December 1930, Black Mask)
  • "Gun Thunder" (January 1931, Black Mask)
  • "Get a Load of This" (February 1931, Black Mask)
  • "Spare the Rod" (August 1931, Black Mask)
  • "Pearls Are Tears" (September 1931, Black Mask)
  • "Death's Not Enough" (October 1931, Black Mask)
  • "Shake-Up" (August 1932, Black Mask)
  • "He Could Take It" (September 1932, Black Mask)
  • "Red Web" (October 1932, Black Mask)
  • "Red Pavement" (December 1932, Black Mask)
  • "Save Your Tears" (June 1933, Black Mask)
  • "Song and Dance" (July 1933, Black Mask)
  • "Champions Also Die" (August 1933, Black Mask)
  • "Ghost of a Chance" (March 1935, Black Mask)


Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

| Home | Detectives A-L M-Z | Film | Radio | Television | Web Comics | Comics | FAQs |
Trivia | Authors | Hall of Fame | Mystery Links | Bibliography | Glossary | Search |
This Just In... | Word on the Street | Non-Fiction
| Fiction | Staff | The P.I. Poll |

Got a comment on this site? Drop me a line, and we'll talk.
"And I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man who likes to talk."