Hammett: Jonathan Latimer Cracks Wise

Got some notes in from Terry Zobeck, who is deep into the forgotten mags of the early 1920s on a Hammett hunt. Big game bibliography at its finest.

But he’s not always prowling the primeval pagination, like a regular guy he can watch some tube, too.

And so he noticed the intersection of three Black Mask writers, Erle Stanley Gardner, Dashiell Hammett and Jonathan Latimer:

“My wife and I have taken to watching reruns of the original Perry Mason on MeTV. They are on at 9:00 am and 11:30 pm each weekday.

“Central to the plot of this morning’s episode was a Nevada casino.

“The boss had a tough-guy enforcer type.

“His name was Ned Beaumont.

“Coincidence? I don’t think so.

“The writer was Jonathan Latimer, so he would certainly know and probably be amused at the little inside joke.

“And I suspect many in the original audience would have smiled too.

“Today, not so many.”

I wonder if Latimer kept up the schtick from Hammett’s novel The Glass Key — when Beaumont is mentioned, he is always referred to as Ned Beaumont. Both names.

Might have been tougher to bring off on TV.

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