RARA-AVIS: Re: Maltese Falcon

From: Dick Lochte ( dlochte@gmail.com)
Date: 23 May 2008

Before we leave this discussion of The Maltese Falcon, I'd like to clarify the source of the story about Hammett's use of slang to prank Shaw. Much as I admire both Gardner and The Atlantic, the squib is actually an uncredited paraphrase of an introduction to one of Hammett's stories that appeared in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine and was repeated in a slightly longer version in In the Queens' Parlor (1957), a fascinating collection of anecdotes and reminiscences from the Queen authors. In that piece, the Queens credit critic James Sandoe as being the first to point out in print the meaning of "gunsel."

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