RARA-AVIS: Re: The Pinkertons of Yore

From: Kevin Burton Smith (kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 25 Mar 2009

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    I think some of the "glamour" of the Pinkertons, even in Hammett's day, was romanticized PR. Like some of today's "private security contractors," they may have often been little more than thugs with an organization behind them. Maybe that's where Hammett learned to lie his ass off so well.

    In Don Herron's newest edition of his guidebook -- an amazing compendium of trivia and travel tips for the San Francisco hard-boiled jetsetter -- there are some pretty head-spinning suggestions.

    Like, Hammett may have actually been one of the men involved in the murder of Frank Little, and a goodly portion of his "memories of a private detective" were bogus (though the latter seems sort of obvious).

    Kevin Burton Smith www.thrillingdetective.com

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