The Novels of Dashiell Hammett - [Contents: Red Harvest -- the Dain Curse -- the Maltese Falcon -- the Glass Key -- the Thin Man]
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Samuel Dashiell Hammett ( 1894 -1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories and is regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time The THIN MAN is a detective novel originally published in Redbook. The story is set in Prohibition-era New York City. The main characters are a former private detective, Nick Charles, and his clever young wife, Nora. Nick, son of a Greek immigrant, has given up his career since marrying Nora, a wealthy socialite, and he now spends most of his time cheerfully getting drunk in hotel rooms and speakeasies. Nick and Nora have no children, but they do own a wire-haired terrier named Asta. RED HARVEST is narrated by The Continental Op, a frequent character in Hammett's fiction. Hammett based the story on his own experiences in Butte, Montana as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency, San Fransisco. The DAIN CURSE has a detective known only as The Continental Op investigates a diamond heist that looks like an inside job. He is told of a supposed curse on the Dain family, said to inflict sudden and violent deaths upon those in their vicinity. Mr.Leggett has some skeletons in the closet, and nothing is what it seems in this strange, occultish family. The MALTESE FALCON is a 1930 , originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask. The main character, Sam Spade, appears only in this novel and in three lesser known short stories, yet is widely cited as the crystallizing figure in the development of the hard-boiled private detective genre - Raymond Chandler's character Philip Marlowe, for instance, was strongly influenced by Hammett's Spade The GLASS KEY is said to be his favorite among his works. It was first published in 1931, and tells the story of gambler and racketeer Ned Beaumont, whose devotion to crooked political boss Paul Madvig leads him to investigate the murder of a local senator's son as a potential gang war brews.
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