The Girl with the Silver Eyes


Genre Mystery and thrillers

Year 2016

Volume book: Full version

“THE GIRL WITH THE SILVER EYES” seems to be a story about the Continental Op, the unnamed private eye who stars in most of Hammett’s best short fiction as well as in his first two novels, and It is actually the story of the very beautiful young woman with long, lush brown hair who calls herself Jeanne Delano; in a previous adventure, “The House in Turk Street,” she was Elvira, with bobbed red hair. A lot of people died in the first story, and more deaths followed in the second. It is Jeanne and her scheme that sets into motion the events that bring about the involvement of the Continental Detective Agency and its fat but very tough operative. Like many of the women in the stories by Hammett (1894—1961), she is young, very pretty, feminine, an inveterate liar, and utterly without conscience. She is a chameleon, changing from a desirable kitten to someone so cold‐blooded that she will allow, even encourage, the slaughter of innocent people for her own selfish and greedy ends. Think of Brigid O’Shaughnessy in and you know all you need to know about Hammett’s femmes fatales and, in fact, just about every sexy girl in every noir book and motion picture.

“The Girl with the Silver Eyes” is connected to “The House in Turk Street” in that it features Jeanne/Elvira as the catalyst for the ensuing action. It was originally published in the June 1924 issue “The House in Turk Street” had been in the April 1924 issue.

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