Grove Press
Grove Press
Grove Press

The Hunter and Other Stories

by Dashiell Hammett Edited by Julie M.Rivett Edited by Richard Layman

“These stories are among Hammett’s best. . . . [His] prose is always savvy and sturdy, but for the man who invented ‘hard-boiled,’ it can also be surprisingly elegant.” —San Francisco Chronicle

  • Imprint Grove Paperback
  • Page Count 304
  • Publication Date October 14, 2014
  • ISBN-13 978-0-8021-2159-2
  • Dimensions 5.5" x 8.25"
  • US List Price $16.00

About The Book

An extraordinary literary publication from one of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, The Hunter and Other Stories includes Hammett stories gleaned from his personal archives along with screen treatments long buried in film-industry files. Hammett is regarded as both a pioneer and master of hard-boiled detective fiction, but this revealing collection shows him in a different light, as a master craftsman whose talent was not restricted by genre.

This volume introduces a dozen never-before-published and five seldom-seen short stories. These shrewd explorations of failed romance, hypocrisy, crass opportunism, and courage in the face of conflict reveal added dimension to Hammett’s exceptional genius. In addition, Hammett’s full-length original screen stories for City Streets( 1931), starring Gary Cooper and Sylvia Sydney, and the seldom-screened Mr. Dynamite (1935) are included, along with Hammett’s storyline called “Devil’s Dynamite” for an un-produced movie. A bonus inclusion is the captivating opening for a never-finished second Sam Spade novel. Rich in both plot and character, this is a book no Hammett fan—or lover of good fiction—should do without.


“Fans of crime writer Dashiell Hammett . . . have been waiting decades to read the stories collected in this book.” —Publishers Weekly (boxed review)

“For aficionados of the genre, the unearthing of new Hammett stories is akin to Christians discovering an epilogue to the New Testament. . . . These stories are among Hammett’s best. . . . [His] prose is always savvy and sturdy, but for the man who invented ‘hard-boiled,’ it can also be surprisingly elegant.” —Eddie Muller, San Francisco Chronicle

“This fascinating collection of hitherto unpublished or ungathered tales . . . will be a treat for any fan of the father of the hardboiled detective story.” —Wall Street Journal

“A must for fans of the great man. . . . Packed with fascinating information about the stories and their legendary creator.” —Mystery Scene

“Remarkable. . . . Each story is a gem. . . . The Hunter and Other Stories should be a part of everyone’s book collection.” —Blunt Review

“Intriguing.” —Chico News & Review

“Hammett’s talent allowed him to create moving and realistic characters using seemingly perfunctory details—the literary equivalent of a Picasso doodle. . . . Any Hammett fan will surely want to peruse this . . . readable tome.” —Columbus Dispatch

“Very entertaining writing. . . . This book is a must-read.” —David M. Kinchen, Huntington News

“A pure pleasure to read.” —Jeff Baker, OregonLive.com

“Fascinating.” —Booklist

“Hammett uses words like scalpels to surgically reveal slivers of seediness whether it concerns detectives or wronged men or wronged women. If you want to discover why Sam Spade’s dad burst onto the scene like a ’30s literary nova, here’s your chance.” —Will Durst, Progressive Magazine

“A labor of love . . . this collection is certainly a worthy monument to an important and brilliant literary career, one that reveals a heretofore hidden side of one of America’s most important fiction authors.” —Bookreporter.com

“Tantalizing.” —Detectives Beyond Borders

The Hunter and Other Stories caulks a crack in American literature. . . . The non-crime stories in The Hunter and Other Stories are good enough to make one wonder what a different kind of writer Hammett might have become had he published these stories before he began to make a living with crime fiction.” —Allen Barra, The Daily Beast

“[An] interesting new volume. . . . Layman and Rivett have expertly introduced and edited these stories. . . . The Hunter and Other Stories is a very good book by a great writer. Perhaps more important, it opens a wide window upon the creativity of one of our most important American storytellers of the twentieth century.” —Leonard Cassuto, Barnes & Noble Review


There are people who, coming for the first time in contact with one they know for a detective, look at his feet. These glances, at times mockingly frank, but more often furtive and somewhat scientific in purpose, are doubtless annoying to the detective whose feet are in the broad-toed tradition: Fred Vitt enjoyed them. His feet were small and he kept them neatly shod in the shiniest of blacks. He was a pale plump man with friendly light eyes and a red mouth. The fortunes of job-hunting not guided by definite vocational training had taken him into the employ of a private detective agency some ten years ago. He had stayed there, becoming a rather skillful operative, although by disposition not especially fitted for the work, much of which was distasteful to him. But he liked its irregular variety, the assurances of his own cleverness that come frequently to any but the most uniformly success-less of detectives, and the occasional full-tilt chase after a fleeing someone who was, until a court had decided otherwise, a scoundrel of one sort or another.

Too, a detective has a certain prestige in some social divisions, a matter in no way equalized by his lack of any standing at all in others, since he usually may either avoid these latter divisions or conceal his profession from them. Today Vitt was hunting a forger.