Re: RARA-AVIS: Hammett or Daly?

Bob Toomey (
Tue, 26 Oct 1999 00:11:13 -0400

> Daly, being a less careful writer, simply beat Hammett to the mailbox.

Interesting approach to this question. I imagine it must have happened something like this: The starting gun goes off, and Daly and Hammett dash to their typewriters. They both compose furiously, and coming around the far turn, it's close, very close, but Daly, ignoring typos, spurning any thought of rewrites, knows he has the edge. Hammett could have been the one, could have been awarded that historical footnote, but no, artistic integrity does him in, and he loses the race. Daly will forever be known as the first writer of hardboiled detective stories. Hammett will have to settle for the scant consolation of being known only as the best...


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