e building, divided into apartments or flats of a dismal and dingy sort. We found the landlady in the basement: a gaunt woman in soiled gray, with a hard, thin-lipped mouth and pale, suspicious eyes. She was rocking vigorously in a creaking chair and sewing on a pair of overalls, while three dirty kids tussled with a mongrel puppy up and down the room.
Dean showed his badge, and told her that we wanted to speak to her in privacy. She got up to chase the kids and their dog out, and then stood with hands on hips facing us.
"Well, what do you want?" she demanded sourly.
"Want to get a line on your tenants," Dean said. "Tell us about them."
"Tell you about them?" She had a voice that would have been harsh enough even if she hadn't been in such a peevish mood. "What do you think I got to say about 'em? What do you think I am? I'm a woman that minds her own business! Nobody can't say that I don't run a respectable --"
This was getting us nowhere.
"Who lives in number one?" I asked.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, even though I had read several of the stories before. They're very good mysteries, and Hammett's writing is in top form; his physical descriptions of characters are spot on and memorable, and his portrait of San Francisco in the 20's is also full of detail. The title story has a nice theme that was echoed in The Maltese Falcon. http://kontakt.detectivfrei.ch/
A very short mystery story that rolls along to an obvious conclusion until it doesn't. Well-crafted and deceptive.
It was Young Bob Teal, the agency's youngest P. I who got it one night tailing a suspect. You might figure out pretty quickly who killed him, but try and act surprised. It's a short trip down a dark alley, with almost more characters than pages. Enjoy!
A short story that suitable for leisure reading.
Although short - I enjoyed this story. Too bad the site doesn't have more by Dashiell Hammett.
interesting 1920's era gumshoe style mystery. It's very short - just long enough for a bedtime read. I found it enjoyable.
This is a very good but very short story. The protagonist is Hammett's "other" great detective, "The Continental Op." In this story, he called upon to find the murderer of a fellow Continental detective, one whom he trained and whom he regarded as a friend. In thirteen pages, he clears up the mystery. It is worth reading for fans of the hard boiled detective, for the short stories are where Hammett perfected his craft, and where he first developed ideas which later appeared in his novels.
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