The Continental Op

The Continental Op

by Dashiell Hammett, Boketto Reads

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Before Sam Spade, before Philip Marlowe, before Mike Hammer, before Lew Archer, and before every 'hard-boiled' detective in mystery fiction there was the Continental Op. Who was he? No one knows, since Dashiell Hammett never gives his name. He's just "The Op"- a private investigator and operative stationed in the San Francisco office of the Continental Detective Agency.

Reporting to the 'Old Man' his boss at the San Francisco office, the Op is short and fat (by his own description) but extremely tough as these fourteen stories testify. Through such famous tales as "The Tenth Clue", "Zigzags of Treachery", "The Girl with Silver Eyes", and "The Golden Horseshoe" among others, we see the Op solve crimes, usually murder, in and around San Francisco and Northern California while being shot at, assaulted, and dishing punishment better than he receives it. This collection includes the very first Continental Op story, "Arson Plus".

Product Details

BN ID: 2940162864226
Publisher: Boketto Reads
Publication date: 05/12/2020
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 81,498
File size: 500 KB

About the Author

Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) is considered one of the founders and primary creators of the hard-boiled detective genre. His early life included being an operative for the Pinkerton National Detective Agency from 1915- 1922, while also taking enlisting for U.S. Army service in World War I. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis. He world re-enlist in the U.S. Army in World War II, and served as a sergeant in the Aleutian Islands. After the war, he was imprisoned for contempt of court after refusing to answer questions as a suspected Communist.

Hammett first published his detective and mystery fiction in 1922, drawing on his direct experience working for the Pinkerton Agency. His early work, including the popular Continental Op stories, was primarily published in Black Mask magazine and relied on San Francisco as a colorful setting and backdrop for the stories. Later novels and stories that firmly established his place in American crime literature include The Maltese Falcon in 1930 (introducing Sam Spade) and The Thin Man (with Nick and Nora Charles) in 1934. Hammett died in Manhattan on January 10, 1961 of lung cancer.

Date of Birth:

May 27, 1894

Date of Death:

January 10, 1961

Place of Birth:

St. Mary, Maryland

Place of Death:

New York


Baltimore Polytechnic Institute

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