William Campbell Gault won the Edgar from the Mystery Writers of America and the Life Achievement Award from the Private Eye Writers of America, but Marksman is the first collection of his extraordinary short stories from the pulps and from great digest magazines including Manhunt. The collection begins with six non-series tales showing the range of Gaults approach to the mystery story, and continues with the entire shortstory career of privateeye Joe Puma.
The stories are not only fastpaced and colorful, but as the editor, Bill Pronzini, puts it in his introduction, they are filled with "finely tuned dialogue, wry humor, sharp social observation, a vivid evocation of both upper class and bottom feeder lifestyles, and most importantly, the portrayal of people, in Fredric Browns words, so real and vivid that youll think you know them personally."
The sixth in the Lost Classics series concludes with an affectionate reminiscence of her father by Shelley Gault.
The cover painting is by Tom Roberts, one of the finest of the neo-pulp artists, combining the pulp emphasis on action and menace with modern detailed realism.