The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett This is the first Hammett novel I've read. I don't know why I haven't made the effort to read such an iconic writer before, particularly as I am a long-time crime fiction reader and a fan of "classic" mysteries. It may be my first Hammett, but I'm pretty sure it won't be my last.

I've just finished re-reading all of the novels of Dorothy L Sayers, who is without doubt my favourite writer of "Golden Age" mysteries. It was interesting to compare The Thin Man with Sayers' novels. It's certainly less literary and intellectual than much of Sayers' writing, but Hammett and Sayers share an ability to write witty and entertaining dialogue. They are both skilled at summoning up a strong sense of place and time and their plotting is clever.

I love the banter between Nick and Nora and the way Hammett conveyed the strength of their relationship without needing to spell it out. I love the novel's elegant style and it's evocation of 1930s New York City. The mystery was strong enough to keep me interested and I didn't guess the culprit in advance of the big reveal. I was initially amazed at all of the references to alcohol consumption and became convinced that the novel would be but a pamphlet if all the references to drinking were removed. But I either stopped noticing it, or else the incidence of drinking decreased as the novel progressed. All in all, this was a very worthwhile read. Now I understand what the fuss about Hammett is actually all about.