Monthly Archives: May 2019

Dashiell Hammett’s Brave Earl Parish

An Inch And a Half of Glory  by Dashiell Hammett


 Tuesday’s Mystery Tale    May 28, 2019

Mystery writer Dashiell Hammett said “What I try to do is to write a story about a detective rather than a detective story.”

Oh that Dashiell, he’s a a good one. This week, May 27 is the anniversary date of Hammett’s birth. He is most famous for The Thin Man and Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon, so let’s remember this talented writer by reading his An Inch and a Half of Glory.

Hammett wrote a good number of short stories; this is the only one I could find free to read online. Not a detective story, but certainly a suspenseful psychological yarn about a man named Earl Parish who saves a little boy from an apparent house fire. What is really intriguing is the personality portrait of Earl and the sense of irony in the story. Good suspense and a fascinating quick read.

Read the short story here at the New Yorker magazine:



Did you know that Hammett spent his early twenties as a detective in San Francisco? His first story was published in a society magazine The Smart Set. But everyone knows he got his real literary start in the magazine Black Mask when they published his crime story Arson Plus. He wrote five novels, but many remember him as a devoted left-wing activist. In his later years he settled in Katonah, NY, in a small rural cottage, before passing away in New York City. He remains one of the most influential writers of our time. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.



And didn’t we all romanticize his 30-year love affair with Lillian Hellman (in the 1977  film Julia with Jason Robards and Jane Fonda).












Don’t forget to view the INDEX above of more free reading at Reading Fiction Blog. This is a compendium of over 200 short stories by more than 100 famous storytellers of mystery, suspense, supernatural, ghost stories, ‘quiet horror,’ crime, sci-fi, and mainstream fiction.

Follow or sign up to join me in reading two short stories every month. Comments are welcome! Feel free to click “LIKE.”


Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

 Lovecraft Ezine   Parlor of Horror   

Slattery’s Art of Horror Magazine   Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds     Horror Novel Reviews     

Monster Librarian 

 Rob Around Books      The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed


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Literary Birthday, Ralph Waldo Emerson, May 25


Literary Birthday, May 25, Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Readers here know I am a devoted fan of Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you’ve read my mystery novel The Dazzling Darkness, you will find Emerson’s ghost within the story and haunting the characters from beginning to end.

Emerson believed that “when it is dark enough, you can see the stars” in every metaphorical sense that these words bring to mind. We all have dark times in our life. He knew these struggles deeply through the death of his first wife, Ellen, and his child, which caused him a crisis of faith.


American poet, philosopher, and essayist, Emerson led the transcendentalist movement in the mid-19th century. Nature. Individualism. Divinity. These are the basic ideas of his philosophy about life, liberty, and expression.

Here is a moment with Emerson to honor his everlasting insights that we still value today—especially today!  He says here in this video that we are not the centre of the universe, but part of the whole … that all plant and life forms have an equal place and we all intertwine with each other within the world.


 Born May 25, 1803, died April 27 1882.


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