RARA-AVIS: Uncollected Hammett short stories

From: William Denton ( buff@pobox.com)
Date: 17 Mar 2002

I bought the Library of America Hammett collection CRIME STORIES AND OTHER WRITINGS today, and too late I remember some complaints on the list that it didn't include much new. When I was going through my Hammetts and seeing what I could clear out, I started to get cheesed--for one, I can't get rid of THE BIG KNOCKOVER because it's the only book with "Tulip." I know some of Hammett's stories have never been collected, and I wanted to find out what I was missing, so I made a list.

First, the stories collected in CRIME STORIES and NIGHTMARE TOWN (* means it's in both):

CRIME STORIES AND OTHER WRITINGS (Library of America, 2001):

  "Arson Plus" (1923)
  "Crooked Souls" (a.k.a. "The Gatewood Caper") (1923)
  "Slippery Fingers" (1923)
  "The Tenth Clew" (1924)
* "Zigzags of Treachery" (1924)
  "The House in Turk Street" (1924)
  "The Girl with Silver Eyes" (1924)
* "Women, Politics and Murder" (a.k.a. "Death on Pine Street") (1924)
  "The Golden Horseshoe" (1924)
* "Nightmare Town" (1924)
  "The Whosis Kid" (1925)
  "The Scorched Face" (1925)
  "Dead Yellow Women" (1925)
  "The Gutting of Couffignal" (1925)
* "The Assistant Murderer" (1926)
  "The Creeping Siamese" (1926)
  "The Big Knockover" (1927)
  "$106,000 Blood Money" (1927)
  "The Main Death" (1927)
  "This King Business" (1928)
  "Fly Paper" (1929)
  "The Farewell Murder" (1930)
  "Woman in the Dark" (1933)
* "Two Sharp Knives" (1934)
* "The Thin Man" (first draft, written 1930)

NIGHTMARE TOWN (Knopf, 1999):

  "Bodies Piled Up" (a.k.a. "House Dick") (1923)
  "The Second-Story Angel" (1923)
  "Afraid of a Gun" (1924)
  "The Man Who Killed Dan Odams" (1924)
* "Nightmare Town" (1924)
  "Night Shots" (1924)
  "One Hour" (1924)
  "Who Killed Bob Teal?" (1924)
* "Women, Politics and Murder" (a.k.a. "Death on Pine Street") (1924)
* "Zigzags of Treachery" (1924)
  "Mike, Alec or Rufus?" (a.k.a. "Tom, Dick or Harry") (1925)
  "Ruffian's Wife" (1925)
* "The Assistant Murderer" (1926)
  "A Man Called Spade" (1932)
  "Too Many Have Lived" (1932)
  "They Can Only Hang You Once (1932)
* "Two Sharp Knives" (1934)
  "His Brother's Keeper" (1934)
  "A Man Named Thin" (1961)
* "The First Thin Man" (first draft, written 1930)

Not counting the easy-to-find stuff above ...

THE BIG KNOCKOVER (1972) includes:
  "Tulip" (written 1952)

These three are much harder to find:

DEAD YELLOW WOMEN (1947, ed. Ellery Queen) includes:
  "The Green Elephant" (1923)
  "Ber-Bulu" (a.k.a. "The Hairy One") (1925)

NIGHTMARE TOWN (1947, ed. Ellery Queen) includes:
  "Albert Pastor at Home" (1933)
  "Corkscrew" (1925)

THE WOMAN IN THE DARK (1951, ed. Ellery Queen) includes:
  "It" (a.k.a. "The Black Hat That Wasn't There") (1923)
  "Holiday" (1923)

Which leaves the following stories. Have these ever been collected in books? I think that normally they'd be coming out of copyright soon, if they aren't already, but with Hammett or his estate renewing copyright later, and current copyright laws changing, who knows.

"The Parthian Shot" (1922)
"Immortality" (1922)
"The Barber and His Wife" (1922)
"The Road Home" (1922)
"The Sardonic Star of Tom Doody" (a.k.a "Wages of Crime") (1923)
"The Joke on Eloise Morey" (1923)
"The Vicious Circle" (a.k.a "The Man Who Stood In the Way"?) (1923)
"The Crusader" (1923)
"The Dimple" (a.k.a "In the Morgue") (1923)
"Laughing Masks" (a.k.a "When Luck's Running Good") (1923)
"Itchy" (1924)
"Ester Entertains" (1924)
"The New Racket" (a.k.a. "The Judge Laughed Last") (1924)
"The Nails in Mr. Cayterer" (1926)
"The Advertising Man Writes a Love Letter" (1927)
"Diamond Wager" (1929)
"Death and Company" (1930)
"On the Way" (1932)
"Night Shade" (1933)
"This Little Pig" (1934)
"The Man Who Loved Ugly Women" (pre May 1925)
"Another Perfect Crime" (pre May 1925)
"A Tale of Two Women" (?)
"First Aide to Murder" (?)


William Denton : Toronto, Canada : http://www.miskatonic.org/ : Caveat lector.

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