Evan Lewis keeps at his exploration of digital newspaper morgues, finding the Op yarn “The Farewell Murder” (1930) reprinted in December 1939 in the Detroit Free Press. How many Op reprints? How many times? How many papers? Maybe someday Evan will have manhunted them all down for our delectation. . . .
In his little blurb Evan mentions the idea that “The Farewell Murder” probably was the last Op yarn written for Black Mask, as Hammett headed off to Hollywood — but then “Death and Company” appeared a few months later, and that title was the last gasp of Hammett’s short fat detective in those pulp pages.
If you want a deep dive into Op vs. Op, return to my ruminations of yesteryear where I pit the final two published tales against each other in a battle to see who finished last.