Wednesday, September 29, 2021

HAMMETT HERALD-TRIBUNE: "The New Racket" aka "The Judge Laughed Last" (Read it Here!)


This story first appeared under the title "The New Racket" in the February 15, 1924 issue of Black Mask. It next showed up in newspapers in the '30s, where it acquired this new title. (This title and illo by Austin Briggs is from the El Paso Times of March 28, 1937.) It surfaced next in 1943, in the Bestseller Mystery digest The Adventures of Sam Spade. Then the March 1944 issue of EQMM (reproduced here thanks to Larry Paschelke), the Tower Books hardcover edition of The Adventures of Sam Spade in 1945, and finally the Mercury Mystery digest They Can Only Hang You Once in 1948. It did not make the jump into the Dell mapback collection A Man Called Spade.

And that was it. The story was somehow overlooked by the several collections of "lost" stories published between 1999 and 2013, and is one of the very few Hammett tales still out of print. 






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