RARA-AVIS: Dashiell Hammett. Detective. Writer.

e j m duggan (ejmd@cwcom.net)
Sat, 03 Jul 1999 10:49:34 +0000

On Fri, 2 Jul 1999, AnonymeInc@webtv.net (Mark Sullivan) wrote:

> The PI guy wasn't Herron. It was some guy who said he read Maltese
> Falcon in one sitting one night, then called the Pinkerton Agency,
> because the book cover said Hammett had worked for them, and asked
> if they hired inexperienced people or guys with beards. They just
> happened to need a guy with a beard so they hired him.


That's David Fechheimer. He was on the 'hard boiled writers' prog screened in the UK a few weeks ago---they spelled his named wrong.

Josiah Thompson (himself an academic-turned-detective) tells the story of Fechheimer's conversion in _Gumshoe_, his own Maltese Falcon imbued memoir. Apparently when Fechheimer was working on an MA dissertation on Am. lit. he spent a night reading TMF, and he called the Pinkerton agency the following morning who, as you say, needed a beard!


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