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Also the Easy Rawlins series by Walter Mosley. First one is Devil in a Blue Dress I think. Those span late 40's to late 60's I believe.
BTW, I've always pictured the Op as looking and talking just like Broderick Crawford, based on childhood memories of Highway Patrol. It's a shame Crawford never got to portray him.
Try My Gun Is Quick by Mickey Spillane (1950). It's one of the best of the Mike Hammer novels. Spillane captured that era better than anyone. His in-your-face style will hit you in the gut, and Hammer was without question the toughest of the hardboiled tough guys, doling out his brand of justice with no mercy.
I reviewed this novel at length on my website. You might want to check it out yourself. http://mikedennisnoir.com/review-my-gun-is-quick/1632/
What you need to do is check out the Black Lizard imprint from Vintage Crime. They have a website and are likely the largest publisher of crime noir from 30s to the present. If you like Chandler, I agree that Ross McDonald is brillant and the closest to a direct successor to Chandler. John D. MacDonald has, in my opinion, a slightly different sensability but is also brilliant and well worth reading. Even Gregory McDonald (Fletch) has some good novels. Regardless, if you are interested in original noir works, Black Lizard is the best place to start, the earlier the title was published by Black Lizard the better chance its a quality book.
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