Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Taking Hammett to the Streets

This week marks the publication of The Dashiell Hammett Tour: Thirtieth Anniversary Guidebook, written by longtime San Francisco literary tour guide Don Herron and brought back into print as part of Vince Emery Productions’ Ace Performer Collection. First published back in 1979 (but out of print for most of the last two decades), Herron’s book leads Bay Area visitors to the sites of greatest significance in Hammett’s life and in his San Francisco-based fiction (especially The Maltese Falcon). It also provides ample background on the author himself, with an introduction written by his surviving daughter.

To celebrate this volume’s handsome resurrection between hard covers, Bay Area detective novelist Mark Coggins (Runoff) takes a look at Herron’s work for The Rap Sheet, noting some of the additions that have been made to it and a few of the anecdotes this new edition includes.

“If you are a Hammett fan,” Coggins writes, “this work belongs on your bookshelf, even if you have a previous edition. If you’ve not read Hammett, then you should pick up a copy of The Maltese Falcon and Don Herron’s book and follow along. The Dashiell Hammett Tour is the treasure map to Sam Spade’s adventure with the black bird.”

You can find all of Coggins’ comments here.


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