Two never-before-published novellas featuring
Nick & Nora Charles
edited by Richard Layman), Julie M. Rivett
November 6, 2012 / ISBN 978-0802120502
likes Dashiell Hammett or loves The Thin Man movies will
enjoy reading this collection, The Return of the Thin Man. Hammett
was paid by MGM Studios to write these stories due to the popularity
of the original The Thin Man movie, which was released
in 1934 and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy as Nick and Nora
Charles (and their dog, Asta). The movie, a blockbuster, resulted
in The Thin Man becoming Hammett’s most popular book,
topping his hard-boiled detective stories like The Maltese Falcon.
Nick Charles is a retired detective and, far from hard-boiled, is
calm and collected. Mysteries find him, even when he’s not
looking, and his wife, Nora, is often involved. The two stories
included in this release After the Thin Man (movie released
1935) and Another Thin Man (movie released 1938). In the
first story, Nick and Nora return to San Francisco after the end
of the first movie, and Nora’s rather eclectic family is involved.
The second story features Nick and Nora in New York with their year-old
son, Nick Jr., to handle Nora’s business affairs. Naturally,
each story involves a murder and some truly hilarious scenes.
While the mysteries are entertaining, the relationship between Nick
and Nora is confident and provides comic relief. Their dry wit and
repartee make the original movie – and the subsequent releases
– extremely enjoyable. I laughed out loud many times while
reading the stories in this book. Minor differences exist between
the movies and these stories, and if you don't like reading screenplays,
this book is not for you. However, if you like entertaining, funny
mysteries with snappy dialogue, you'll love this book.