Dashiell Hammett’s The Main Death

The Library of America shares Dashiell Hammett’s short story, “The Main Death,” and adds some context. “On its surface, “The Main Death” seems to be a straightforward puzzle mystery: an abundance of seemingly contradictory clues perplex the cops and detectives (and the reader), the Continental Op hunts down evidence that resolves the paradoxes, and he then reveals who committed the crime—or more accurately, in this case, crimes. What distinguishes this story, as Hammett’s biographer Richard Layman points out, is that ‘the Op’s personal sense of right and wrong is the only guide he follows.’”

Read it here.

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