My Scrapbook: A Seasonal Greeting Card from the Charleses

My Scrapbook A Seasonal Greeting Card from the Charleses MGM publicity still for the release of Shadow of the Thin Man (1941) Above is a publicity still for the release of Shadow of the Thin Man (1941, MGM), starring William Powell and Myrna Loy and as Dashiell Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles. Of course by … Continue reading My Scrapbook: A Seasonal Greeting Card from the Charleses

Hamilton Nash

Adapted by Robert Lenski Based on The Continental Op character created by Dashiell Hammett For six glorious hours, Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op actually had a name. but if you weren't one of those fortune few who caught the 1978 CBS six-hour mini-series adaptation of The Dain Curse, you'll just have to take my word for … Continue reading Hamilton Nash

Raymond Chandler (Rest in Pieces)

Fictionalized by Kim Cooper, William Denbow, John Stanley & Kenn Davis, Hiber Conteris, Gaylord Larsen, William F. Nolan & Roger L. Simon Such is the myth and cultural mojo surrounding Philip Marlowe and his creator that more than one author has taken a crack at fictionalizing Raymond Chandler, and putting him to work as a … Continue reading Raymond Chandler (Rest in Pieces)

On the Trail of The Black Bird…

The Whereabouts of the "Real" Maltese Falcon As of March 1995, the original movie prop (two were made, but only one was used) from John Huston's 1941 classic The Maltese Falcon had finally gone home to roost in San Francisco, site of the film and the original novel by Dashiell Hammett. The leaden statuette emerged … Continue reading On the Trail of The Black Bird…

George Webb

Created by Graham Swift "The things people ask you to do..." Who'd a thunk it? Remember, at the end of Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, when Sam Spade tells Brigid O'Shaughnessy, just as she's being carted off to prison, that he would wait for her? Well, with that concept in mind, Booker Prize-winning author Graham Swift … Continue reading George Webb


Created by Peter Collinson Pseudonym of Dashiell Hammett 1894-1961) Hammett scholar Vince Emery, citing William F. Nolan, suggested that Dashiell Hammett's "The Road Home," featuring professional manhunter HAGEDORN and originally published in the December 1922 issue of The Black Mask is in fact "the first hard-boiled detective story," predating Carroll John Daly's "Three Gun Terry," which is … Continue reading Hagedorn

Who’s on First?

The First Hard-Boiled Private Eye Story "Firsts" are the sort of game literary historians, scholars and bookgeeks love to play, giving them a chance to strut their stuff, loudly and proudly offering up the most blurry of distinctions and the most wishy-washy of definitions, turning hair-splittery into a fine art -- and occasionally a contact … Continue reading Who’s on First?

My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

My Bookshelf The Hard-Boiled Omnibus: Early Stories from Black Mask, edited by Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw   Is there a more pivotal collection of stories from Black Mask than The Hard-Boiled Omnibus? Published by Simon and Schuster in 1946, this almost mythical hardcover featured fifteen stories selected by editor  Joseph T. "Cap" Shaw (1874-1952), who had … Continue reading My Bookshelf: The Hard-Boiled Omnibus by Joseph T. “Cap” Shaw

Nick and Nora Charles

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) Nora: "I read where you were shot five times in the tabloids." Nick: "Not true. He didn't come anywhere near my tabloids." -- from The Thin Man (1934 film) The glitzy adventures of Dashiell Hammett's retired private eye NICK CHARLES and his rich, beautiful (and not quite as ditzy as … Continue reading Nick and Nora Charles

Robin Thin

Created by Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) "I am not privy to the quirk in Sergeant Hooley's mind which makes attendance at this particular university constitute, for him, a humorous situation; nor can I perceive why he should find so much pleasure in mentioning that famous seat of learning to me who, as I have often taken … Continue reading Robin Thin