Author: Dashiel Hammet
Series: Nick and Nora Charles, #1
Genre: Classic mystery
Copyright Date: 1933
Cover: Above, a man wearing gloves and holding a cane lights a cigarette. Below, an elegant woman reclines on a pillow behind a liquor bottle and a cocktail shaker.
First line: "I was leaning against the bar in a speakeasy on Fifty-second Street, waiting for Nora to finish her Christmas shopping, when a girl got up from the table where she had been sitting with three other people and came over to me."
Best part: None of the things that annoyed me about the movie were in the book. Yay!
Worst part: Too short.
Imaginary Theme Song: "She's a Lady" by Tom Jones
Recommended for: Fans of manners comedy and mystery mixed together.
Related Reads: Strong Poison by Dorothy Sayers. Other books I haven't read yet.
Nick and Nora Charles are taking a vacation from their usual San Francisco home to spend time in Nick's old city. (I'm not sure we know what city it actually is.) Then a young woman approaches Nick. He's been out of the private detective business for years, but she doesn't know that. She wants help in finding her father. Nick isn't sure he wants to get back into the game - it might cut into his cocktail time - but Fate has other plans.
This book is considered a classic with good reason. I really enjoyed it. The things I find most annoying about the book - women getting patronized to, everyone who is a criminal has a disfigurement of some kind - didn't show up in the book. Rather than telling Nora not to worry her pretty little head, people compliment Nick all the time on what a smart wife he has. I highly recommend it for those who would like to know more about the origins of mystery but would rather not read really sexist books. It's smart and funny, just like its heroine.