Published: San Francisco : Chicago : Vince Emery Productions ; Distributed by Independent Publishers Group, c2005 Series:Ace performer collection, Description: ix, 342 p. : ill. ; 24 cm ISBN/ISSN: 0972589813, 9780972589819, Language: English
Rough start -- Barber and his wife -- Parthian shot -- Great lovers -- Immortality -- Road home -- Master mind -- Sardonic star of Tom Doody -- Joke on Eloise Morey -- Holiday -- Crusader -- Green elephant -- Dimple -- Laughing masks -- Itchy -- Esther entertains -- Another perfect crime -- Ber-Bulu -- Advertising man writes a love letter -- Rich and famous -- Night shade -- This little pig -- Thin man and the flack -- Long sunset
submitted by Uncle Will on August 13, 2013, 1:04 pm
New to our collection, this book is a collection of short fiction stories (some never published in book form) by arguably the greatest mystery write of all time. It includes Hammett's first ever published work, The Barber and his Wife (1922), Black Mask (1924), and This Little Pig (1934) that includes a recently discovered alternate ending. It also has the first time published story, Another Perfect Crime.
Besides the fact that previously unpublished stories were discovered and printed, what makes this book a little more interesting is the format. A great deal of reference work was done by the editor, Vince Emery. Stories are introduced with background notes that set the table with the why, when, and the where, Hammett's creations were served.
These editor notes put into perspective the drive Hammett had to be a writer and the turmoil he had to overcome to feed himself and his family. He was paid a penny a word for his first published story. The sum was a whopping $1.13. Emery goes one step further and lets his readers know what a penny could purchase back in the day.
One of the ways to measure an artist's success is if his work is still in demand long after he passes. Hammett died in 1961. Loyal fans still crave his craft. Just seeing this book on a shelf in AHML brought back memories of nights tucked under the covers, escaping to fantasy worlds made up of hard-bitten private-eyes, leggy molls moaning in distress, and rich, power-hungry elitist forcing their will upon the meek.