Bloody Fingerprints

Slippery Fingers by Dashiell Hammett (1923)

Tuesday’s Detective Tale       Tuesday, April 27, 2021

 

How about reading an old-fashioned murder mystery? Why do we love murder mysteries with snappy detectives or even bumbling detectives? Maybe killers are fascinating. Maybe cheeky detectives beating after the killers are fascinating. Or maybe we love living vicariously inside the killer or detective’s head for an hour or two. I’m betting on the third reason for most of us. Come on, there must be somebody in your life you’ve had moments where you wanted to kill that person and get away with it. Everybody has a  killer inside them according to noir detectives. Noir fiction is filled with greed,  lust, or juicy jealousy; femmes fatales in seedy bars, guys drinking cheap gin, and everything is shrouded in cigarette smoke.  Nobody does this better than author Dashiell Hammett (except maybe Raymond Chandler, my favorite); the prose is sparse and the storytelling exact.

In Slippery Fingers, we have a dead body, Frederick Grover, stabbed in the throat with a brass paperknife, in the library, and found by the butler Barton. Murder during a burglary, you say? No dice. Blackmail maybe? A lovers quarrel? Naa. How about the butler did it? That cliche will kill the reader. Maybe we should follow the money-spending of Mr. Grover … and fingerprints.

 

 

 

Dashiell Hammett (1894 – 1961) the master of detective fiction, an American writer who created the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. Pulp magazines, films, television, Hammett’s most famous titles are The Glass Key, The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon. His most memorable characters were the Continental Op, Nick and Nora Charles, and Sam Spade.

Read the short story here:

https://loa-shared.s3.amazonaws.com/static/pdf/Hammett_Slippery_Fingers.pdf

Listen to the audio here (25 minutes). This is a very entertaining audio!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Vec6iW6bak 

 

 

 

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, romance, and mainstream fiction.

 Follow or sign up to join me in reading one short story every month. 

Comments are welcome!

Feel free to click “LIKE.”

 

 Other Reading Web Sites to Visit

Kirkus Mystery & Thrillers Reviews

Books & Such    Bibliophilica   NewYorkerFictionOnline

   Fangoria.com      Chuck Windig’s Terrible Minds

      Monster Librarian        The Story Reading Ape Blog

For Authors/Writers:  The Writer Unboxed

Literature Blog Directory   

Blog Collection

Blog Top Sites

Discover Author of the Week posted on Mondays!

2 Comments

Filed under crime stories, crime thrillers, dark literature, detective fiction, fiction, fiction bloggers, free short stories, free short stories online, literary short stories, literature, noir mysteries, pulp fiction, READING FICTION BLOG Paula Cappa, short stories, short stories online, short story blogs

2 responses to “Bloody Fingerprints

  1. Not one of the Hammett stories I’ve read. I’ll have to track it down.
    Incidentally, I was amused to see that the scriptwriters for the spaghetti Western “A Fistful of Dollars” (which I just saw recently), swiped a scene directly out of Hammett’s “Red Harvest.”

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s