Hammett: Working the Electronic Morgue

Speaking of the epic sale of Otto Penzler’s mystery library, you may recall that I used Evan Lewis as my man on the street covering the events, since he was interested in hunting down the auction lists and putting up images on his blog and so on — and I’m not. But my reputation for being lazy precedes me.

I linked to his list of final sales prices on the Hammett items. The trade paperback of $106,000 Blood Money that Hammett inscribed to Lillian Hellman bid out at $12,500 — currently it is back on the block, tagged at $27,500. Surf over and savor the inscription, plus the bookseller provides a nice little history of known Hammett-to-Hellman copies.

Evan meanwhile keeps Hammetting on. Just the other day he did that thing of digging around in online newspaper files — which we’ve had plenty of on this blog c/o the late great John D. Squires, Terry Zobeck and others. Evan pulls a cool roster of Hammett print blurbs from 1927-1929, stuff I don’t recall seeing before.

But of course Hammett was all over the newspapers, for years — or, as John D. Squires used to say, until you really start digging, you honestly have no clew what is out there, or how much.

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