The three classic novels published here in one volume are rich with the crisp prose, subtle characters, and intricate plots that made Dashiell Hammett one of the most admired writers of the twentieth century.
A one-time detective and a master of deft understatement, Hammett virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel. In The Maltese Falcon, Sam Spade, a private eye with his own solitary code of ethics, tangles with a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. The Thin Man introduces Hammett’s wittiest creations, Nick and Nora Charles, who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. And in Red Harvest, Hammett’s anonymous tough-guy detective, the Continental Op, takes on the entire town of Poisonville in a deadly war against corruption.
Dashiell Hammett is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer.–Boston Globe
“Hammett was spare, hard-boiled, but he did over and over what only the best writers can ever do. He wrote scenes that seemed never to have been written before.”–Raymond Chandler
“Hammett’s prose was clean and entirely unique. His characters were as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction.”–The New York Times
“As a novelist of realistic intrigue, Hammett was unsurpassed in his own or any time.”–Ross Macdonald
“Dashiell Hammett’s dialogues can be compared only with the best in Hemingway.”–André Gide
“Hammett is one of the best contemporary American writers.”–Gertrude Stein