Tuesday, October 6, 2015
Anyone who has followed my crime-fiction reporting for a while knows what an enthusiastic fan I am of both detective-turned-author Dashiell Hammett and book cover artist Harry Bennett (1919-2012). So I was thrilled to discover that those two men had once worked together. Well, sort of. In 1961--the same year the creator of private eyes Sam Spade and the Continental Op went to his grave at age 66--Permabooks released new paperback editions of all five of Hammett’s novels, from Red Harvest (1929) to The Thin Man (1934), with Bennett-painted fronts. This represented a beautiful combination of talents, one that I thought worth sharing here.