Literary Sleuth Uncovers Hammett Stories

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The Daily Beast reports that 15 previously unknown stories by the legendary writer Dashiell Hammett are due to be published following their discovery. The man who popularised the hard-boiled detective fiction genre (and created Sam Spade) wrote 5 novels and many stories. In 1998, The Maltese Falcon was ranked at 56 in the Modern Library’s list of the 100 greatest novels of the 20th century.

In a piece of sleuthing worthy of Sam Spade, Andrew F. Gulli, editor of The Strand magazine, discovered the stories in a collection of Hammett archival material bequeathed to the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas. The first of the stories will be published by The Strand.

The news coincides with the release of a biography of Humphrey Bogart. Bogart brought Sam Spade to the screen in The Maltese Falcon in 1941, a film said to have one of the most complicated plots in film history. Its penultimate line (“The, uh, stuff that dreams are made of” - improvised by Bogart and intended as a reference to Shakespeare’s The Tempest) has entered movie folklore.

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