Lover of the Fancy

Early C20th American culture and dissent

The Continental Op: Short Story Collection
Dashiell Hammett

£9.99

Dashiell Hammett is the true inventor of modern detective fiction and the creator of the private eye, the isolated hero in a world where treachery is the norm. The Continental Op was his great first contribution to the genre and these seven stories, which first appeared in the magazine Black Mask, are the best examples of Hammett’s early writing, in which his formidable literary and moral imagination is already operating at full strength. The Continental Op is the dispassionate fat man working for the Continental Detective Agency, modelled on the Pinkerton Agency, whose only interest is in doing his job in a world of violence, passion, desperate action and great excitement.

Paperback, 288pp
Orion, 2012
ISBN 9781409138075

Biography

DASHIELL SAMUEL HAMMETT (1894-1961) was born on a farm in southern Maryland, and grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. He left school at the age of fourteen, and after various jobs became an operative for Pinkerton’s Detective Agency. The First World War intervened, and Hammett soon turned to writing, becoming, during the 1920s, the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Thin Man (1932) and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most famous novels.