Dashiell Hammett first wrote about the Continental Op, the short, fat, balding detective with no home, no name and no personal existence apart from his work, more than eighty years ago. In doing so he created one of the most enduring icons of modern times - the private eye, the isolated hero in a treacherous and brutal world. The Continental Op stories are among Hammett's finest and most colourful writing.
Dashiell Hammett (1894-1961) was born in Maryland and worked in a number of menial jobs until he became an operative for the Pinkerton Detective Agency. His experiences as a private detective laid the foundations for his writing career. His work includes Red Harvest, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key, The Thin Man and some eighty short stories, mostly published in Black Mask magazine.