Re: RARA-AVIS: Hammett's _Woman in the Dark_?
30 Aug 99 16:50:00 -0400

Re Michael's post below:

"Also, once I came across a copy of an old copy of something called _Blood Money_ attributed to Hammett. I couldn't skim through it because it was wrapped in plastic."

*Blood Money* was first appeared as two semi-serial installments in *Black Mask* entitled "The Big Knockover" and "$106,000 Blood Money," which told the story of a major multiple bank robbery and its aftermath. The Op is the detective who solves the case. It was the first full-length novel Hammett ever wrote, preceding the magazine serial versions of both *Red Harvest* and
*The Dain Curse* by a year or so. At that, it barely qualified as a full-length novel, being only some forty to fifty thousand words long.

Although it was Hammett's first novel, it was the last published in book form. Paperback editions appeared under both the *Big Knockover* title and the *$106,000 Blood Money* title. Finally, the hardback edition, published, I believe, by World, was entitled simply *Blood Money*. Dell reprints used the same title and that's how it's usually referred to today.

The two installments, written like most of Hammett's magazine serial installments, so that they could stand on their own as short stories as well as chapters in a longer work, hold down the anchor postions in the Lillian Hellman-edited short story collection *The Big Knockover* published by Random House in 1966. That's probably the easiest version to find. - Jim Doherty

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