Heritage Auctions nabs famous collection of mystery & detective books

Heritage Auctions

Dashiell Hammett’s ‘Red Harvest’ is expected to sell for $30,000 or more. Heritage Auctions image


DALLAS – Dashiell Hammett’s Red Harvest is expected to be the leading feature in the KoKo Collection, part of the Sept. 14 Rare Books Auction at Heritage Auctions. Drawing on his experience as a Pinkerton operative, Hammett’s momentous debut novel, published in 1929, defined the archetype for the literary private investigator.

Also offered is Hammett’s 1930 follow-up, The Maltese Falcon (est. $20,000), his most popular work and among the most beloved of the genre, thanks in no small part to Humphrey Bogart’s brilliant turn as Sam Spade in John Huston’s 1941 cinematic adaptation.

“The KoKo Collection will mark the auction debut of several historically important novels,” said James Gannon, director of Rare Books at Heritage Auctions. “A collection like this only comes along once in a lifetime and indeed required a lifetime to assemble.”

An East Coast collector, who wishes to remain anonymous, assembled the collection.

The collection features several books by authors who, like Hammett, wrote for the hard-boiled pulp magazine Black Mask. Perhaps the most famous of these authors, Raymond Chandler, has several works featured in the sale, including a presentation copy of his last masterpiece, The Long Good-Bye (1954) (est. $4,000).