Don't you think maybe a drink would help you to sleep?

A review of The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett

"No, thanks." "Maybe it would if I took one." Nick Charles is a retired detective, living in luxury with his wealthy new bride, Nora, spending most of his time managing their money and traveling and drinking. Especially drinking.  In speakeasies (it's Prohibition) and at home, where "the just as good and costs...less."  But in the first chapter of The Thin Man, the daughter of one of Nick's former clients appears with questions about her father, an inventor named Clyde Wynant.  Even though Nick doesn't want to be drawn in, when Clyde is implicated in a murder, the plot is off and running. Besides all the drinking, Dahiell Hammett's novel is best known for the witty banter between Nick and Nora.  It's so good that even though Hammett only wrote the one novel featuring the couple, it spawned six films and a television series. The Thin Man is fun and stylish and, at only 180 pages, it's a quick read, too.


I love, love, love The Thin Man (and the movie too). I was tickled that one of my other favorite mystery authors, Laurie E. King, included Hammett in her recent Russell/Holmes book, Locked Rooms. Fun to imagine the creator of the stylish Nick and Nora working with Sherlock Holmes.

I don't think Hammett actually died. His writing elevated him to God-like status. Hammett is somewhere in Mexico or the South Seas. His scrawny body sucking down gin and whiskey.