Newspaper's list of ten recommended mysteries for 2005 includes two new books by and about the creator of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man
San Francisco, Calif. - Dec. 9, 2005 - Even though best-selling author Dashiell Hammett died more than forty years ago, he is back in two out of the ten new mystery books recommended by The Wall Street Journal as Christmas gifts in 2005. Tom Nolan, in the Dec. 3 The Wall Street Journal, recommends Lost Stories, a collection of 21 previously unavailable stories by Hammett, and Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade, an illustrated treasury edited by scholar Richard Layman about Hammett's famous novel and the movies and radio shows it inspired.
Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade is crammed with fascinating facts, and provides hundreds of never-before-published photos, documents, and original source materials, including production notes for the three movie versions. Contributors include Dashiell Hammett himself, plus Jo Hammett, Richard Layman, Joseph Shaw, Mary Astor, Dorothy Parker, Hal Wallis, John Huston, Joe Gores, William F. Nolan, and more than fifty additional writers.
"A treasure beyond price for fans of both the classic Hammett novel and the three (that's right, three) film versions of the doomed quest for a black bird," writes Kenneth Turan in The Los Angeles Times. "An incredible amalgam of photos, memos, letters, reviews, whatever, this will make fans of the book or the film gasp as one unexpected delight succeeds another. With this book, wonders really do never cease."
Although Dashiell Hammett was one of the America's best-known authors, many of his stories-including some of his best-have been out of the reach of anyone but a handful of scholars and collectors. Lost Stories rescues 21 long-lost Hammett stories, all either never before collected or unavailable for decades.
Fans of Hammett's famous mysteries will be surprised by the variety. Stories include Hammett's first detective fiction, humorous satires, adventure yarns, a sensitive autobiographical piece, a Thin Man story told with photos, and a tale that Ellery Queen promised "is one of the most startling stories you have ever read." Stories range from the first fiction Hammett ever wrote to his very last. All stories have been restored to their original versions, replacing often-wholesale cuts with the original text for the first time.
For each story, Hammett researcher Vince Emery tells how Hammett's life shaped the story and how the story affected his life. Emery's comments reveal facts about Hammett's life not covered in any other book.
"A hugely important book," writes Otto Penzler in the New York Sun about Lost Stories, "the volume belongs on the shelf of every detective fiction reader and collector."
Lost Stories and Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade are the first two titles in The Ace Performer Collection, a new series of books by and about Dashiell Hammett, crowned "the ace performer" by his disciple Raymond Chandler. They are released in 2005 as part of events held worldwide this year to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of Dashiell Hammett's masterpiece The Maltese Falcon, often named as one of the twentieth-century's best novels. John Huston's film adaptation made Humphrey Bogart a star, and was selected by the American Film Institute as number 23 in its selection of the 100 greatest movies of all time.
About Dashiell Hammett
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was one of the world's most popular and influential writers. Famous as the best-selling creator of Sam Spade, The Maltese Falcon, and The Thin Man, Hammett was also a Pinkerton's detective, an advertising man, a soldier in the U.S. Army during both World Wars, an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, a political activist, and a short story writer.
Discovering The Maltese Falcon and Sam Spade: The Evolution of Dashiell Hammett's Classic Novel, Including John Huston's Movie with Humphrey Bogart, edited by Richard Layman
Trade paperback; $19.95 U.S./$26.95 Canada; 376 pages; ISBN 0-9725898-6-4
Publisher: Vince Emery Productions
Lost Stories by Dashiell Hammett. Introduction by Joe Gores.
Cloth hardback; $24.95 U.S./$33.95 Canada; 352 pages; ISBN 0-9725898-1-3
Publisher: Vince Emery Productions