cover image Lost Stories

Lost Stories

Dashiell Hammett, , edited by Vince Emery. . Vince Emery, $24.95 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-9725898-1-9

Diehard fans of hard-boiled king Dashiell Hammett have craved a collection like this for decades, gathering fiction currently unavailable in book form, plus a handful of tales never reprinted anywhere. Period illustrations embellish certain stories, and the texts often refer to original typescripts. Casual readers, however, may find the overall quality disappointing. Most of the stories are minor. Many are quite brief. A few tales yet remain uncollected, so this is not a one-stop shop, and one of the best from this book, "Night Shade" has already appeared in the Vintage Hammett (2005). As if unsure of the premise, the editor immerses the stories within what is, in effect, a short biography of Hammett written by himself—almost half the total page count. Edgar-winner Joe Gores provides an introduction. (Sept.)