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Return of the Thin Man
Two never-before-published novellas featuring Nick & Nora Charles
Dashiell Hammett
edited by Richard Layman), Julie M. Rivett

Mysterious Press
November 6, 2012 / ISBN 978-0802120502

Reviewed by
Linda Morelli

Anyone who 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.

Reviewer Linda Morelli is the award winning author of three published romance novels.
Reviewed 2012