“Talons in the Dark”. This story and “A New Game for Dorgan” was received by Howard’s agent, Kline on July 22, 1933.

From the letters

In a letter (#259) to H.P. Lovecraft, ca. September or October 1933 Howard tells him about his story:

Lately I’ve been trying to write detective yarns, something entirely new for me, and haven’t had much success — in fact none, so far, except for a short yarn, “Talons in the Dark”, written in San Antonio last spring, and which Kline, as my agent, sold to a magazine called Strange Detective Stories. Kline has been a big help in teaching me the technique of detective story writing; whether I am able to profit by his teaching remains to be seen. (Kline marketed another yarn for me since I wrote the above.)

The other story mentioned is probably “The Teeth of Doom,” published as “The Tomb’s Secret.”

Howard writes to Tevis Clyde Smith, ca. October 1933 (letter #260):

How are your parents, and how is business? Kline cracked me into a new market — Strange Detective Stories; don’t know how it’ll pan out.

Strange Detective Stories bought two Howard stories, “Talons in the Dark” (published in December 1933 under the title “Black Talons”) and “The Teeth of Doom” (published in February 1934 under the title “The Tomb’s Secret” and the byline “Patrick Ervin”) in September 1933, and another, “The People of the Serpent” (published in February 1934 under the title “Fangs of Gold”) in October.

He also mentions the story in a letter (#271) to August Derleth, circa December 1933:

Glad you found my “Black Talons” (originally titled “Talons in the Dark”) in Strange Detectives of some interest. You’re right in saying that I don’t have the feel for detectives that I do for weirds. However, I’ve been writing weirds for nine years, and “Black Talons” was the first detective story I ever wrote in my life. Daigh has a couple of other yarns, “Teeth of Doom” and “People of the Serpent”, which are better.

“Daigh” is Ralph Daigh (1907-1986), editor of Strange Detective.

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