Dashiell Hammett. Dead Yellow Women (1947) 127 pp.
Contents: *Dead Yellow Women; *The Golden Horseshoe; *House Dick; *Who
Killed Bob Teal; The Green Elephant; *The Hairy One.
Four short stories featuring San Francisco detective the Continental
Op and two non-series stories, one of which takes place in San Francisco.
In “Dead Yellow Women,” the Op is hired by a wealthy Chinese-American woman
to investigate a robbery-murder-kidnapping that occurred at her San Mateo
County mansion; he uncovers a Chinatown gang of gun and opium smugglers,
bootleggers, and killers. In “The Golden Horseshoe,” the Op tracks an alcoholic,
opium-addicted architect from San Francisco to Tijuana, Mexico, and back
again—solving several murders along the way. On the last day of a temporary
assignment as a hotel house detective, the Op discovers three bodies in
room 906—victims of mistaken identity in “House Dick.” In “Who Killed Bob
Teal?” the Op investigates the murder of a young, fellow operative. (Hammett
would later mimic the circumstances of Bob Teal’s death in the death of
Sam Spade’s partner Miles Archer in The Maltese Falcon.) “The Green
Elephant” tells the story of a petty criminal named Joe Shupe, who witnesses
a bungled bank robbery in San Francisco, sees one of the thieves drop a
bag of money and recovers it himself.
*1st book publication
Baird & Greenwood 1034