Dallas Duane

Created by James A. Lawson (pseud. of James P. Olsen; other pseuds. include Lawton Jameson)

"Hard and fast!"

-- the motto of Dallas Duane

Prolific western pulp writer James P. Olsen, under the name James Lawson, also wrote several harboiled detective yarns with a decidedly western touch for the spicy line about DALLAS DUANE, a two-fisted P.I. who worked the hardscrabble oil fields of Texas and Oklahoma, where life was cheap and the law was mostly a theory..

Duane did a little of everything, hiring himself out as a trouble shooter to the oil companies, working insurance claims and even going undercover, working his way, "in and out of trouble - both with the wildcatters and with wild women - knuckling a path through a series of bank robberies and payroll heists, murder and corrupt officials, andcrooked gambling and haunted graveyards." His "hard and fast" credo -- and possibly his success with the ladies -- earned him the nickname "Hard Guy."

There were a slew of stories featuring Duane, sometimes under his own name of Olsen, but more frequently under the monicker of James A. Lawson. They had a good run, stretching for almost a decade, in various pulps: Spicy Detective, Spicy Western, Private Detective, Super-Detective and the like. For years only pulp afficiandos even know of their existence, although there have been a few collections by a Black Dog Books over the last few years. The most recent edition, Dying Comes Hard (2015), comes with a brief intro by James Reasoner, and a non-fiction piece by Olsen himself, about his own days in the oil fields.


  • "Hard Guy" (March 1937, Spicy Western Stories)
  • "Hard and Blind" (April 1937, Spicy Western Stories)
  • "Hard to Take" (September 1937, Private Detective Stories)
  • "I Can Be Hard" (June 1938, Spicy Western Stories)
  • "A Hard Guy to Frame" (June 1938, Spicy Adventure Stories)
  • "Hard to Poison" (January 1943, Private Detective Stories)
  • "Hard Guy -- C.O.D." (November 1944, Super-Detective; as James P. Olsen)
  • "Hard-Boiled Hawkshaw" (April 1945, Super-Detective; as James P. Olsen)
  • "The Dead Are Millionaires" (December 1945, Fighting Western)
  • "Lilies in Bloom" (September 1946, Private Detective Stories; as James P. Olsen)

  • "Dying Comes Hard"
  • "The Hard Way"
  • "Hard to Resist"
  • "Hard Wind"
  • "Ghosts are Hard to Catch"
  • "Hard Money"
  • "Hard Hoofing"
  • "Homicide is Hard to Hide"
  • "Hard Rocks"
  • "Hard to Hook"
  • "Hard and Dead"
  • "Hard to Get"


Subtitled "The Collected Cases of 'Hard Guy' Dallas Duane," this one purports to collect all the stories, and boasts an intro by James Reasoner and a non-fiction piece by Olsen himself, about his own days in the oil fields.

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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

Drop a dime. Your comments, suggestions, corrections and contributions are always welcome.
"...and I'll tell you right out that I'm a man who likes talking to a man that likes to talk."

Copyright 1998-2018, thrillingdetective.com. All rights reserved.
Web site by The Thrilling Detective Web Guy