August 11, 2008
MarkBernstein.org
 

The Continental Op

The Continental Op
Dashiell Hammett

(order)

(August 11, 2008)

I grabbed these short stories, on the reading stack for decades, because in some respects they must more closely reflect Hammett’s experience as a Pinkerton. A brilliant writer, Hammett had a fondness for plotting complex and brilliant novels; the short stories don’t offer scope for the plotting and so give us the experience of the young detective in California, straight up. The standout here is “The Farewell Murder”, which does a lovely early turn on the echoes of The Great War in the unimaginably remote lands on California farm country.

I’m pretty sure I read “The Girl With Silver Eyes” in scifi drag somewhere, but I can't quite place it.