RE: RARA-AVIS: Hard-Boiled anthology

Date: 28 Feb 2003


Re your comment below:

> Hammett himself left the magazine a couple times,
> didn't he? . . . [He] came back when Shaw
> became editor and asked Hammett to do a serial
> which, I'm guessing,
> became RED HARVEST.

Following Shaw's invitation to do a novel, and prior to "The Cleansing of Poisonville," the serial published in book form as RED HARVEST, Hammett did a two-part serial for BLACK MASK, about a major bank robbery and the hunt for the guy who masterminded it.

The two installments were called "The Big Knockover" and "$106,000 Blood Money." Oddly, given that this was his first book-length work (though at 40,000 words, just barely), it wasn't published in book form until the early '40s. The hard-back edition was called BLOOD MONEY. Paperback editions have been published as THE BIG KNOCKOVER, $106,000 BLOOD MONEY, and simply BLOOD MONEY. The two installments can also be found in the Lilian Hellman-edited Hammett collection THE BIG KNOCKOVER.

There's a pretty funny spoof of this story by Jon L. Breen called "$106,000 Mud Bunny" in which a character known only as "The Transcendental Cop" searches for the expensive clay statue of a rabbit.


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