Wednesday, July 22, 2020

HAMMETT HERALD-TRIBUNE: "Girl Hunt" Part 1 (1936)

Beginning in 1934, many of Hammett's novelettes and stories began to appear in serialized form in various newspapers. Sometimes the stories were given new titles, sometimes not. "Girl Hunt" is a retitling of "Fly Paper," which originally appeared in the August 1929 issue of Black Mask

These examples are from The Pittsburgh Sun-Telegraph of June 1936 and The St. Louis Post-Dispatch from July 1936. They're presented here to give you a look at the artwork, which was original to the serialization. In some of the Op stories, our hero was billed as "Continental Operative No. 7." Why that 7 was deemed necessary is too many for me.

If you want to read the story (and you should, because stylistically it's one of Hammett's best) you'll find Frederic Dannay's edited version in the 1945 Bestseller Mystery digest The Continental Op, the subsequent Dell mapback of the the same title, the 1966 hardcover The Big Knock-Over and the paperback editions of that volume. For the real thing, you'll have to seek out the 2001 Library of America volume Crime Stories and Other Writings, the 2016 Mysterious Press ebook The Continental Op: The Complete Case Files, or 2017's magnum opus, The Big Book of The Continental Op. One version or other of the story also appeared in the 2005 collection Vintage Hammett


Stephen Mertz said...

Very cool! Not too often I see something new about Hammett. Thanks for posting.

Evan Lewis said...

Stay tuned, Writer Guy. I'll be posting another dozen of these newspaper serials.