The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett
After reading and enjoying The Maltese Falcon and discovering that Dashiell Hammett was the creator of the fabulous Nick and Nora Charles, I decided to move on to The Thin Man. And I liked it! I think I found it a little more confusing than The Maltese Falcon – there were lots of characters who ended up being important but who only appeared on the page maybe once or twice, though the explanation at the end was good (except for the parenthetical asides about how things turned out which I found kind of odd). There were lots of suspects, though, and I, like Nick and Nora Charles, kept going back and forth between who I thought had dunnit only to be taken completely by surprise by the actual solution. I wish there had been a bit more of Nora Charles, though – she sort of fades into the background for the second half of the novel or so, but when she’s there with Nick, she’s very likable – and clever, too, which is nice to see, especially in a hard-boiled detective novel.
I think the most impressive thing about the novel, even moreso than Nick’s detective skills, is the couple’s ability to drink! Honestly, I wasn’t sure how anyone was still on their feet, let alone solving a murder mystery! But I guess it was another time full of speakeasys and glittery cocktail parties.
My rating: B+
An intersting side note: Toward the end there, I was trying to read very quickly so I could move onto my next book (I’m not telling you what it is until I’ve read it, but I fully expect that it will be made entirely of win and awesome) only to be thwarted by this:
What’s that, you ask? That is the remains of pages 139-140 and 141-142. Missing from my copy of the book! Fortunately I was able to find another copy here at my parents’ house and finish the book, but it was still a little confusing there for a few minutes. Weird! I’ll definitely be heading back to B&N to get a complete copy tomorrow…