Category Archives: Dashiell Hammett

DEADLY WEAPON (1946) by Wade Miller

Bill Miller and Bob Wade made their debut as novelists with this highly distinctive mystery that opens with a stabbing in the back row of a San Diego burlesque house. The victim was a fan of Shasta Lynn, the strip-tease … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Dashiell Hammett, Private Eye, San Diego, Scene of the crime, Wade Miller | 27 Comments

BLACKMAILER (1952) by George Axelrod

One of my favorite Hard Case Crime reprints is their cheeky edition of The Valley of Fear, presented with a lurid 1950s style cover as by ‘A.C. Doyle’. This approach, taking a classic and spicing it up for the masses, was … Continue reading

Posted in 2013 Vintage Mystery Challenge, Dashiell Hammett, George Axelrod, Hard Case Crime, New York | 32 Comments

ORACLE NIGHT (2002) by Paul Auster

Though Paul Auster clearly has great affection for the mystery story, this has manifested itself quite obliquely over the years. Squeeze Play (1982), his debut novel (as by ‘Paul Benjamin’) is a conventional if proficient thriller that more than passes … Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, New York, Paul Auster | Tagged , | 20 Comments

The Mad Miss Manton (1938)

The screwball mystery stands as the unlikely historical and genre nexus between the pre-code movies of the early thirties and the Film Noir movement of the 40s and 50s. Don’t believe me? Well, just consider the iconic crossover presence of … Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, New York, Scene of the crime, Screwball, The Thin Man, Tuesday's Overlooked Film | Tagged | 42 Comments

THE LONG WAIT (1951) by Mickey Spillane

Well, I suppose it had to happen sooner or later at Fedora! After a year and a half of blogging it is time to confront some potentially ingrained snobbery and decided if we have descended to the level of Mickey … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, 2012 Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge, Amnesia, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Friday's Forgotten Book, Mickey Spillane, Raymond Chandler | 57 Comments

J is for … Jonathan Latimer

Kerrie’s 2012 Alphabet of Crime community meme over at her Mysteries in Paradise blog continues this week and has reached the letter J. As part of my contribution, I offer a look at the work of Jonathan Latimer, one of … Continue reading

Posted in 'In praise of ...', 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Columbo, Cornell Woolrich, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Erle Stanley Gardner, Film Noir, Jonathan Latimer, Los Angeles, Perry Mason, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Scene of the crime, Screwball, The Thin Man | 20 Comments

DEATH IS A LONELY BUSINESS (1985) by Ray Bradbury

I delayed reading this book for the best part of thirty years but finally made the leap last week. I was thirty pages in when I heard the news: Ray Bradbury had died at the age of 91. The following, … Continue reading

Posted in 2012 Alphabet of Crime, Crime Fiction Alphabet, Dashiell Hammett, Friday's Forgotten Book, Leigh Brackett, Los Angeles, Private Eye, Ray Bradbury, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, Scene of the crime | 21 Comments

BLOOD ON THE MINK (1962) by Robert Silverberg

Counterfeiting is the name of the game in this hardboiled thriller by the legendary Robert Silverberg, one of the busiest writers of the 50 and 60s. Having made his short story debut while still in his teens and getting his … Continue reading

Posted in Charles Ardai, Dashiell Hammett, Film Noir, Friday's Forgotten Book, Hard Case Crime, Philadelphia, Private Eye, Richard Stark, Scene of the crime | 20 Comments

WOMAN IN THE DARK (1933) by Dashiell Hammett

Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) came to prominence in the 1920s with his short stories about the ‘Continental Op’, published in Black Mask magazine under the editorship of Joseph T. Shaw. His longer works, including his five novels, initially began as … Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, Robert B. Parker, Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 2011 | 3 Comments

DEATH ON THE AISLE (1942) by Frances and Richard Lockridge

This is the fourth book in the long-running series featuring married sleuths Mr and Mrs North, written by husband-and-wife authors Richard and Frances Lockridge. The Jerry and Pam North characters first appeared in book form in a collection of lightly … Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, Mrs & Mrs Smith, Partners in Crime, Patrick Quentin, Richard and Frances Lockridge, The Thin Man, Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 2011 | 6 Comments

Top 101 Film & TV Mysteries

This is a minor milestones for Tipping My Fedora as the blog has now reached its 101st post. So, seeing as it is also my birthday today, what better way to celebrate than with a small indulgence in the company of … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Charlie Chan, Columbo, Dashiell Hammett, Dorothy L. Sayers, Film Noir, Giallo, Inspector Morse, Jonathan Latimer, London, Lord Peter Wimsey, Los Angeles, Nero Wolfe, New York, Oxford, Paris, Parker, Philip MacDonald, Philip Marlowe, Philo Vance, Raymond Chandler, Rex Stout, Richard Stark, Robert Culp, Ross Macdonald, San Francisco, Scene of the crime, Scott Turow, Sherlock Holmes, SS Van Dine, The Thin Man, TV Cops, William Goldman | 31 Comments

Johnny Depp’s “Thin Man” remake

It was announced a while ago (see The Guardian‘s story here) that Johnny Depp will star in a film of Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man (1934), the lightweight detective story that effectively ended the great writer’s brief career as a … Continue reading

Posted in Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man | 30 Comments

Top 20: Private Eye movies

“The bottom is loaded with nice people. Only cream and bastards rise” – HARPER (1966) The private investigator or, in Sherlock Holmes’ case, ‘consulting’ detective, is a figure completely embedded into the history of the crime and mystery genre, but … Continue reading

Posted in 'Best of' lists, Dashiell Hammett, Film Noir, Philip Marlowe, Private Eye, Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald, William Goldman | 61 Comments

Top 100 mystery books (almost)

The plan was to come up with a top 100 that I was prepared to stand by – but I wanted to re-read so many of the books that I might have included but now remembered too vaguely (such as Ngaio Marsh’s output or books like Tey’s hugely popular The Daughter of Time) that I thought I should publish only a partial list. Not to mention finding it a bit hard to just settle on one book by Georges Simenon given the enormity of his output – I have placed a list of 80+ titles on the site and am extremely open to suggestions …

So here are My (Nearly) Top 100 Mystery Books  Continue reading

Gallery | 2 Comments

Top 10: San Francisco Mysteries

With the closure at the end of this month of The San Francisco Mystery Bookstore (as reported here) I thought I would dedicate a post this week to that fine city in Northern California where, once upon a time, I used to visit a very good friend of mine. I did a lot of growing up there in the 80s and 90s and also bought a lot of great mystery books.

I haven’t been there in over a decade now but along with its undoubtedly beautiful setting on the Bay, the vibrancy of its culture (and counter-culture) and of course the wonderful food, fascinating people and amazing architecture, the potential for squalor and seediness seemed often remarkably ever-present to me as a European tourist, requiring little more than a short step in the ‘wrong’ direction – especially before the regeneration of SOMA. This mixture of high and low culture, of beauty and darkness, have made it the perfect setting for all kinds of mysteries, from the misanthropic romance of Hitckcock’s Vertigo to the hard- and soft-boiled worlds of Hammett found in the gritty adventures of Sam Spade and upper class sleuths Nick and Nora Charles. In some ways the most valuable works here for me are those by Bill Pronzini and the late Joe Gores, who use the city and its environs as the backdrop for so much of their work. They offer a particularly fascinating and diverse look at a city and how it has changed over the decades.

Limiting this list to just 10 inevitably meant plumping for some personal favourites and some unavoidable but great, even classic, books that somehow you just can’t do without. So, for today, these are my top mystery books set in and about San Francisco, still beautiful and mysterious - just like my old friend. I present these in strict chronological order. I hope to blog on each separately, as time goes by … Continue reading

Gallery | 19 Comments