Claustrophobic ex-convict Brazil is on parole for a man slaughter
sentence and is hoping never to go back behind bars again. All he has to
do is stay out of trouble in his quiet cabin in the woods. Then a
beautiful woman with a broken shoe stumbles through his door.
This was one of the last shorter stories that Hammett published before he
walked away from crime writing. It's not his greatest bit of writing but
still well worth a look. To be honest I much prefer the 1934 film
version with Ralph Bellamy and Fay Wray in the lead roles.
It's pretty faithful to Hammett's story though it does smooth off the rough edges, notably Hammett's insistence on having characters with accents and lisps all fully annotated. The romantic element is more developed and there's also a bit of humour along the way mainly from Roscoe Ates. And you get to see Fay Wray's ankles.. so no contest really.
An introduction by Robert B.Parker comments on Hammett's style and suggests the reasons for the story's level of romance.