Tully, who lived from 1886 to 1947, was a "vagabond, pugilist, and American writer" who achieved commercial success and critical favor in the 1920s and '30s with a series of novels and hard-boiled memoirs.
He was not a crime writer, but Harvey Pekar's foreword to Tully's Circus Parade (1927) says Tully's legacy is perhaps "most clearly seen in detective stories beginning about 1930. His work often had a rough quality, but it is genuine, not affected, like Ernest Hemingway's."
Circus Parade's first sentence is suitably Hammettian in its matter-of-factness and brevity ("It was my second hobo journey through Mississippi") and the ending of its third story/vignette is wryly humorous ("Cameron's loss was several thousand dollars. Finnerty had gained eighty cents"), a bit like Hammett's story "Slippery Fingers."
So if you like Hammett (and I know that you do), you just might like Jim Tully.
© Peter Rozovsky 2011