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Everything about the Leggett diamond heist indicated to the Continental Op that it was an inside job. From the stray diamond found in the yard to the eyewitness accounts of a "strange man" casing the house, everything was just too pat. Gabrielle Dain-Leggett has enough secrets to fill a closet, and when she disappears shortly after the robbery, she becomes the Op's prime suspect. But her father, Edgar Leggett, keeps some strange company himself and has a dark side the moon would envy. Before he can solve the riddle of the diamond theft, the Continental Op must first solve the mystery of this strange family.
Dashiell Samuel Hammett was born in St. Mary’s County. He grew up in Philadelphia and Baltimore. Hammett left school at the age of fourteen and held several kinds of jobs thereafter—messenger boy, newsboy, clerk, operator, and stevedore, finally becoming an operative for Pinkerton’s Detective Agency. Sleuthing suited young Hammett, but World War I intervened, interrupting his work and injuring his health. When Sergeant Hammett was discharged from the last of several hospitals, he resumed detective work. He soon turned to writing, and in the late 1920s Hammett became the unquestioned master of detective-story fiction in America. In The Maltese Falcon (1930) he first introduced his famous private eye, Sam Spade. The Thin Man (1932) offered another immortal sleuth, Nick Charles. Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1929), and The Glass Key (1931) are among his most successful novels. During World War II, Hammett again served as sergeant in the Army, this time for more than two years, most of which he spent in the Aleutians. Hammett’s later life was marked in part by ill health, alcoholism, a period of imprisonment related to his alleged membership in the Communist Party, and by his long-time companion, the author Lillian Hellman, with whom he had a very volatile relationship. His attempt at autobiographical fiction survives in the story “Tulip,” which is contained in the posthumous collection The Big Knockover (1966, edited by Lillian Hellman). Another volume of his stories, The Continental Op (1974, edited by Stephen Marcus), introduced the final Hammett character: the “Op,” a nameless detective (or “operative”) who displays little of his personality, making him a classic tough guy in the hard-boiled mold—a bit like Hammett himself.See all Product Description
Unlike most people, I feel that THE DAIN CURSE was one of the best novels that Hammett has written. After reading THE MALTISE FALCON, and THE THIN MAN, this novel seemed to keep... Read morePublished on June 13 2004 by Toby
This is a poorly constructed novel that only a masochist would bother finishing. The excessive plot twists are propped up by awkward explanation opportunities that inhibit what... Read morePublished on Sept. 17 2003 by ReviewMan
Today, of course, Dashiell Hammett's reputation rests largely on the legendary novel THE MALTESE FALCON, but this does not mean that his other work isn't worth a look, and THE DAIN... Read morePublished on Sept. 6 2003 by Gary F. Taylor
All of Hammett's other novels (The Glass Key, Red Harvest, The Thin Man, The Maltese Falcon) are five-star reads; his short stories (collected in The Big Knockover and The... Read morePublished on Jan. 5 2003 by saara
The Dain Curse recounts a mystery seen through the eyes of The Continental Op, a stocky, perceptive and industrious middle aged sleuth employed by an insurance firm. Read morePublished on Nov. 3 2002 by Cory D. Slipman
A little below standard for Dashell Hammett and for his Continental Op stories, the climactic last third represents some of the author's best writing. Read morePublished on July 22 2002 by Neal Reynolds
In the middle of THE DAIN CURSE the scene shifts to the temple of a San Francisco cult started by Joseph and Aaronia Haldorn, a couple of mediocre actors. Read morePublished on July 11 2002 by Peter Kenney
Of all the protagonists Dashiell Hammett created -- Sam Spade, Nick and Nora Charles, Ned Beaumont -- the Continental Op, for my taste, is the most enduring and compelling. Read morePublished on Dec 1 2001 by Paul Dana