Publication: Liberty Publishing Corporation, 1933, New York
First edition. First appearance of Hammett's crime novella, published in three consecutive issues of Liberty Magazine, with each installment superbly illustrated by James Montgomery Flagg. First appearance in Volume 10, No. 14, April 8, 1933; second appearance in Volume 10, No. 15, April 15, 1933; and third appearance Volume 10, No. 16, April 22, 1933. Color magazine covers, 58 pp. each issue, illustrated. Mild wear and signs of handling to extremities, a few faint creases, and beginning oxidation to staples; mild toning to wrappers on April 8 issue, with a few small splits along spine fold and two small tape mends to verso of front wrapper; contents clean, complete; Very Good+ The novella would not see publication in book format for 18 years until Lawrence Spivak published it in the obscure Jonathan Press Mystery series (1951); Knopf re-issued the title as a hardcover in 1988, with a new introduction by Robert B. Parker. Basis for the 1934 film of the same name, directed by Phil Rosen and starring Fay Wray, Ralph Bellamy, and Melvyn Douglas. Attractive and scarce.
Inventory Number: 41806