Dashiell Hammett

(1894 – 1961)

Biographical Sketch

Samuel Dashiell Hammett (Saint Mary’s County, MD, USA, May 27, 1894 – New York, NY, USA, January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse).

In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time and was called, in his obituary in The New York Times, “the dean of the ‘hard-boiled’ school of detective fiction.” Time magazine included Hammett’s 1929 novel Red Harvest on a list of the 100 best English-language novels published between 1923 and 2005.

Read more about Dashiell Hammett on Wikipedia.

 

Bibliography

Novels
  • Red Harvest (1929)
    – Previously published in 4 individual parts:
  • The Cleansing of Poisonville (1927)
  • Crime Wanted – Male or Female (1927)
  • Dynamite (1928)
  • The 19th Murder (1928)
  • The Dain Curse (1929)
    – Previously published in 4 individual parts:

    • Black Lives (1928)
    • The Hollow Temple (1928)
    • Black Honeymoon (1929)
    • Black Riddle (1929)
  • The Maltese Falcon (1930)
    – Previously published in 5 individual parts, all entitled The Maltese Falcon (1929).
  • The Glass Key (1931)
    – Previously published in 4 individual parts:

    • The Glass Key (1930)
    • The Cyclone Shot (1930)
    • Dagger Point (1930)
    • The Shattered Key (1930)
  • Woman in the Dark (1933)
    – Originally serialized in “Liberty;” posthumously published in book form in 1989.
  • The Thin Man (1934)
    – First draft 1930 (set in San Francisco), first published posthumously in 1975.
  • Dashiell Hammett Omnibus (1935)
  • The Complete Dashiell Hammett (1942)
  • The Dashiell Hammett Omnibus (1950)
  • The Novels of Dashiell Hammett (1965)
  • Library of America: Dashiell Hammett – Complete Novels (1999)
Short Story Collections
  • $106,000 Blood Money (1943)
    • The Big Knockover
    • $106,000 Blood Money
  • The Adventures of Sam Spade and Other Stories (1944)
    A/K/A: They Can Only Hang You Once

    • Too Many Have Lived
    • They Can Only Hang You Once
    • A Man Called Spade
    • The Assistant Murder
    • Nightshade
    • The Judge Laughed Last
    • His Brother’s Keeper
  • The Continental Op (1945)
    • Fly Paper
    • Death on Pine Street
    • Zigzags of Treachery
    • The Farewell Murder
  • The Return of the Continental Op (1945)
    • The Whosis Kid
    • The Gutting of Couffignal
    • Death and Company
    • One Hour
    • The Tenth Clew
  • Hammett Homicides (1946)
    • The House in Turk Street
    • The Girl with the Silver Eyes
    • Night Shots
    • The Main Death
    • Two Sharp Knives
    • Ruffian’s Wife
  • Dead Yellow Women (1947)
    • Dead Yellow Women
    • The Golden Horshoe
    • House Dick
    • Who Killed Bob Teal?
    • The Green Elephant
    • The Hairy One
  • Nightmare Town (1948)
    – Edited by Ellery Queen.

    • Nightmare Town
    • The Scorched Face
    • Albert Pastor at Home
    • Corkscrew
  • The Creeping Siamese (1950)
    – Edited by Ellery Queen.

    • The Creeping Siamese
    • The Man Who Killed Dan Odams
    • The Nails in Mr. Cayterer
    • The Joke on Eloise Morey
    • Tom, Dick or Harry
    • This King Business
  • The Woman in the Dark (1951)
    – Edited by Ellery Queen.

    • Arson Plus
      – First published 1923 under the name Peter Collinson.
    • Slippery Fingers
      – First published 1923 under the name Peter Collinson.
    • The Black Hat That Wasn’t There
    • Woman in the Dark
    • Afraid of a Gun
    • Holiday
    • The Man Who Stood in the Way
      – First published in 1923 as The Vicious Circle under the name Peter Collinson.
  • A Man Named Thin and Other Stories (1962)
    – Edited by Ellery Queen.

    • A Man Named Thin
    • Wages of Crime
    • The Gatewood Caper
    • The Barber and His Wife
      – First published in 1922 under the name Peter Collinson.
    • Itchy the Debonair
    • The Second-Story Angel
    • In the Morgue
    • When Luck’s Running Good
  • The Big Knockover (1966)
    – Edited by Lillian Hellman.

    • The Gutting of Couffignal
    • Fly Paper
    • The Scorched Face
    • This King Business
    • The Gatewood Caper
    • Dead Yellow Women
    • Corkscrew
    • Tulip
      – Unfinished novel.
    • The Big Knockover
    • $106,000 Blood Money
  • The Continental Op (1974)
    – Edited by Steven Marcus.

    • The Tenth Clew
    • The Golden Horseshoe
    • The House in Turk Street
    • The Girl with the Silver Eyes
    • The Whosis Kid
    • The Main Death
    • The Farewell Murder
  • Nightmare Town (1999)
    – Edited by Kirby McCauley, Martin H. Greenberg and Ed Gorman.

    • Nightmare Town
    • House Dick
    • Ruffian’s Wife
    • The Man Who Killed Dan Odams
    • Night Shots
    • Zigzags of Treachery
    • The Assistant Murderer
    • His Brother’s Keeper
    • Two Sharp Knives
    • Death on Pine Street
    • The Second-Story Angel
    • Afraid of a Gun
    • Tom, Dick or Harry
    • One Hour
    • Who Killed Bob Teal?
    • A Man Called Spade
    • Too Many Have Lived
    • They Can Only Hang You Once
    • A Man Named Thin
    • The First Thin Man
  • Library of America: Dashiell Hammett – Crime Stories and Other Writings (2001)
    • Arson Plus (1923)
    • The Assistant Murderer (1926)
    • The Big Knockover (1927)
    • The Creeping Siamese (1926)
    • Crooked Souls (1923)
      A/K/A: The Gatewood Caper
    • Dead Yellow Women (1925)
    • The Farewell Murder (1930)
    • Fly Paper (1929)
    • The Girl with Silver Eyes (1924)
    • The Golden Horseshoe (1924)
    • The Gutting of Couffignal (1925)
    • The House in Turk Street (1924)
    • The Main Death (1927)
    • Nightmare Town (1924)
    • The Scorched Face (1925)
    • Slippery Fingers (1923)
    • The Tenth Clew (1924)
    • The Thin Man (first draft, 1930)
    • This King Business (1928)
    • Two Sharp Knives (1934)
    • The Whosis Kid (1925)
    • Woman in the Dark (1933)
    • Women, Politics and Murder (1924)
      A/K/A: Death on Pine Street
    • Zigzags of Treachery (1924)
Anthology Contributions
  • Creeps By Night (1931)
    A/K/A Modern Tales of Horror
    – Introduction by Dashiell Hammett.
    – Reprinted and amplified 1961.
Uncollected Short Stories
  • The Crusader (1923)
  • Ester Entertains (1924)
  • The Man Who Loved Ugly Women (1924 or 1925)
  • Diamond Wager (1929)
  • On the Way (1932)
  • This Little Pig (1934)
  • First Aide to Murder
  • A Tale of Two Women
Short Stories Published Under Assumed Names
  • Immortality” (10 Story Book, November 1922)
    – As Daghull Hammett.
  • The Road Home” (The Black Mask, December 1922)
    – As Peter Collinson.
  • The Sardonic Star of Tom Doody (Brief Stories, February 1923)
    A/K/A Wages of Crime
    – As Peter Collinson.
  • The Crusader” (The Smart Set, August 1923)
    – As Mary Jane Hammett.
  • Diamond Wager” (Detective Fiction Weekly, 19 October 1929)
    – As Samuel Dashiell.
Screenplays
  • City Streets (1931)
    – With Oliver H.P. Garrett and Max Marcin.
  • Mister Dynamite (1935)
    – With Doris Malloy and Harry Clork.
  • After the Thin Man (1936)
    – With Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
  • Another Thin Man (1939)
    – With Frances Goodrich and Albert Hackett.
  • Watch on the Rhine (1943)
    – With Lillian Hellman.
Poetry
  • Caution to Travelers (The Lariat, November 1925)
  • Goodbye to a Lady (Stratford Magazine, June 1927)
  • Curse in the Old Manner (The Bookman, September 1927)
Cartoons
  • Secret Agent X-9, Book 1 (1934)
  • Secret Agent X-9, Book 2 (1934)
Nonfiction and Correspondence
  • The Battle of the Aleutians (1944)
    – With Robert Colodny.
  • Selected Letters of Dashiell Hammett 1921 – 1960 (2001)
    – Edited by Richard Layman with Julie M. Rivett.

 

A Selection of Quotes

The Thin Man

“The problem with putting two and two together is that sometimes you get four, and sometimes you get twenty-two.”

The Maltese Falcon

‘We didn’t exactly believe your story.’
‘Then –?’
‘We believed your two hundred dollars.’
‘You mean –’ She seemed not to know what he meant.
‘I mean that you paid us more than if you’d been telling the truth,’ he explained blandly, ‘and enough more to make it all right.’

“My way of learning is to heave a wild and unpredictable monkey-wrench into the machinery.”

“The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.”

The Continental Op

“The face she made at me was probably meant for a smile. Whatever it was, it beat me. I was afraid she’d do it again, so I surrendered.”

Find more quotes by Dashiell Hammett on Wikiquote and Goodreads.

 

Links

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