Hammett: Couffignal

Like a bloodhound with his nose ever to the hardboiled pavement, a few days ago Brian Leno let me know that Library of America put up another Continental Op yarn by Hammett as the feature Story of the Week. I looked over the tepid intro, repeating points made decades ago, and decided I’d skip a link to it.

But then I got a note from David Potter, and reconsidered. After all, not everyone has worn out one pair of gumshoes after another leading the Dashiell Hammett Tour for forty-four years. Some New Guy might get something out of it. Got to remember there’re always going to be New Guys.

David said: “Finally, I have something that may be of interest to you. I’m a long-time reader of the blog. As a Hammett and Willeford fan, I enjoy it a great deal.

“Thanks to an email from the Library of America a few days back, I found out that ‘The Gutting of Couffignal’ was their Story of the Week for this week. 

“Makes for an interesting tidbit. Anyone can sign up for the free story email, btw.”

“Couffignal” is one of a run of white-hot Op yarns Hammett knocked out in 1925 — in many ways, he never got any better, only kept it up.

If you take David’s tip and sub for a weekly story, keep in mind they’re not all Ops (they have popped a couple of his adventures previously). And sometimes they get a little daring, like when they put up Robert E. Howard’s “The Black Stone.”

But it’s free, so you probably have nothing to lose.

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