The Pequod Review:
Dashiell Hammett's Crime Stories & Other Writings is a collection of 24 crime stories and novellas, primarily written for Black Mask and other pulp magazines. The vast majority of the pieces involve the nameless Continental Op who would feature in Hammett's late novels. The best stories are "Zigzags of Treachery," "Nightmare Town," "Dead Yellow Woman," and especially "Fly Paper," a gritty and realistic story involving a rebellious young woman from a wealthy family who "preferred Tenth Avenue to Fifth, grifters to bankers, and Hymie the Riveter to the Honorable Cecil Windown, who had asked her to marry him." Apart from these highlights, the stories are generally not as polished or as well-plotted as Hammett's novels.