From: Dick Lochte ( dlock@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 16 Sep 2000

The religious cult (as in "The Dain Curse") is very much a part of 1920s-30s America, especially in California where Aimee Simple McPherson rock and rolled. It's almost a staple of the hardboiled literature of the era. Relying on memory alone, I can think of Richard Hallas' "You Play The Black and the Red Comes Up," Jonathan Lattimer's "Solomon's Vineyards," and even Dick Tracy and Yogi Yamma. Without doing a little research, I can't say if Hammett was the first to send his private eye into cult headquarters, but he was probably among the first.

Not incidentally, the concept of cult is still very much alive and well on the West Coast, as any number of prominent actors and actresses continue to proudly proclaim.

Speaking of Tracy, has there been a discussion on this list of hardboiled comics? I can't think of any novel as tough as a Tracy panel with bullet-sized pieces of a villain's brain blowing out the back of his head. Well, maybe "Fast One."

Dick Lochte

> From: "brooks hefner" < brookshefner@hotmail.com>

> as far as the cult goes, that seems like it's more out of some kind
> of 19th century gothic english novel. maybe it's hammett's
> radical, rational critique of religion--i.e. it's all one elaborate hoax?
other than that,
> however, temples and sacrifices just seem a bit odd in the world of the

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