Dashiell Hammett

(1894–1961)

Dashiell Hammett

Anecdote 1...

During the eight years that Hammett worked as a detective for the Pinkerton detective agency, he found out how resourceful a sleuth must be. A man he had been assigned to tail wandered out into the country and managed to get completely lost. Hammett came forward and directed the lost man back to the city...without letting on that he had been following him.

Anecdote 2...

Dashiell Hammet

The chief of police of a southern city once sent Hammett a detailed description of a wanted criminal, which included even the mole on the man’s neck. The description failed to mention, however, that the wanted man had only one arm.

Biographical Note: 

Dashiell Hammett was a U.S. novelist. His own career as a private detective supplied material for his fiction. Two of his most successful works, The Maltese Falcon (1930) and The Thin Man (1932), were filmed. In 1951 he fell afoul of the anticommunist zeal of the McCarthyites and served some time in jail.