I am so pleased they have collected these stories. As a fan of The Thin Man I am always looking for good, noir-ish pulp to read. Sometimes Hammett’s work is dismissed as just that — pulp made for the masses. These stories prove it is more than that. Some are not only brilliant, but are years ahead of their time.
There are lines like…
This bookkeeper was tall and concave, with dry hair that lay on his scalp instead of growing out of it. (Loc. 163)
A detective is a man employed to do certain defined things: he is not a judge, a god. Every thief has his justification, to hear him tell it. (Loc. 221)
He was undersized and faded and with the face of an unhealthy rodent. From the corners of a thin-lipped and colorless mouth whose looseness had erased everything of expression but a pusillanimous cruelty, lines, deep but nevertheless not clearly defined, ran up to a little crafty twitching nose. (Loc. 875)
His talent for description is unparalleled.
The stories are selected and categorized in groups like Women and Screen Stories. The bulk of them are unpublished, or perhaps appeared once in a newspaper or magazine. This is a fabulous trove for the story story lover.
Read via e-galley
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Mysterious Press (November 4, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches