Dashiell, Hamming | Harper's Magazine
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From similes used in twentieth-century noir books and films, compiled in The Mysterious Romance of Murder, which was published last May by Cornell University Press.

Impressive as an adoring moll

Thin as an honest alibi

Unperturbed as a bank president refusing a loan

Helpless as a sleeping rattlesnake

Romantic as a pair of handcuffs

A face like stale beer

A spine like a run in a stocking

A scent like three widows drinking tea

A feeling like a pearl onion on a banana split

A stare that could freeze a fresh-baked potato

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