Re: RARA-AVIS: Noir Cats and authors

Date: 21 Mar 2000

Thanks for the clarification, Etienne. For the record, I don't know the name of Hammett's cat, but I do know that Chandler's cat was named Taki. And it wasn't a black cat at all, though he appears to be in photographs, but rather a tortoiseshell longhair. There appear to have been a number of hardboiled writers who owned cats. My new book, JOKER POKER, which just went live at, and will soon be available through all the usual outlets, doesn't feature a cat, but I do own four of them, one of which is a dead ringer for Taki. Cats, however, are a wonderful hardboiled kind of creature, being perfectly psychopathic. They represent the world which the hardboiled sleuth navigates, and observation of their habits (along with those of the more conventional human psychopaths) has enhanced my own work. R

Richard Helms JOKER POKER, a Pat Gallegher Mystery coming in May from Writer's Showcase, an imprint of Visit the <A HREF="">Murders In The Vieux Carre</A> website!

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