Dashiell Hammett
Samuel Dashiell Hammett was an American author of hard-boiled
Hardboiled crime fiction is a literary style, most commonly associated with detective stories, distinguished by the unsentimental portrayal of violence and sex. The style was pioneered by Carroll John Daly in the mid-1920s, popularized by Dashiell Hammett over the course of the decade, and refined...

Detective fiction
Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction and mystery fiction in which an investigator , either professional or amateur, investigates a crime, often murder.-In ancient literature:...

 novels and short stories
Short Stories
Short Stories may refer to:*A plural for Short story*Short Stories , an American pulp magazine published from 1890-1959*Short Stories, a 1954 collection by O. E...

, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade
Sam Spade
Sam Spade is a fictional character who is the protagonist of Dashiell Hammett's 1930 novel The Maltese Falcon and the various films and adaptations based on it, as well as in three lesser known short stories by Hammett....

 (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles
Nick and Nora Charles
Nick and Nora Charles are fictional characters created by Dashiell Hammett in his novel The Thin Man. The characters were later adapted for film in a series of movies between 1934 and 1947; for radio from 1941 to 1950; for television from 1957 through 1959; as a Broadway musical in 1991; and as a...

 (The Thin Man
The Thin Man
The Thin Man is a detective novel by Dashiell Hammett, originally published in Redbook. Although he never wrote a sequel, the book became the basis for a successful six-part film series which also began in 1934 with The Thin Man and starred William Powell and Myrna Loy...

), and the Continental Op
The Continental Op
The Continental Op is a fictional character created by Dashiell Hammett. A private investigator employed as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency's San Francisco office, he never gives his name and so is known only by his job description....

 (Red Harvest
Red Harvest
Red Harvest is a novel by Dashiell Hammett. The story is narrated by The Continental Op, a frequent character in Hammett's fiction. Hammett based the story on his own experiences in Butte, Montana as an operative of the Continental Detective Agency, San Francisco.Time included Red Harvest in its...

 and The Dain Curse
The Dain Curse
The Dain Curse is a novel written by Dashiell Hammett and published in 1929.- Plot summary :The detective known only as The Continental Op investigates a diamond heist that looks like an inside job. He is told of a supposed curse on the Dain family, said to inflict sudden and violent deaths upon...


In addition to the significant influence his novels and stories had on film, Hammett "is now widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time" and was called, in his obituary in The New York Times
The New York Times
The New York Times is an American daily newspaper founded and continuously published in New York City since 1851. The New York Times has won 106 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of any news organization...

, "the dean of the...

"Tall-over six feet-and one of the thinnest men I’ve ever seen. He must be about fifty now and his hair was almost white when I knew him.Usually needs a haircut, ragged brindle mustache, bites his fingernails." I pushed the dog away to reach for my drink.

Nick Charles

"You got types?""Only you, darling-lanky brunettes with wicked jaws."

Nora & Nick

"A lot of fancier yarns come from people trying to tell the truth. It’s not easy once you’re out of the habit."

Nick Charles

"How do you feel?""Terrible. I must have gone to bed sober."

Nora & Nick

"That’s why I don’t very often drink, or even smoke. I want to try cocaine, though because that’s suppose to sharpen the brain, isn’t it?"

Gilbert Wynant

"She keeps trying and you’ve got to be careful or you’ll find yourself believing her, not because she seems to be telling the truth, but simply because you’re tired of disbelieving her."

Nick Charles

Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting v under the more flexible v of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller v. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The v motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down-from high flat temples-in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blonde Satan.

She was tall and pleasantly slender, without angularity anywhere. Her body was erect and high-breasted, her legs long, her hands and feet narrow. She wore two shades of blue that had been selected because of her eyes. The hair curling from under her blue hat was darkly red, her full lips more brightly red. White teeth glistened in the crescent her timid smile made.

Description of Brigid O'Shaughnessy

His features were small, in keeping with his stature, and regular. His skin was very fair. The whiteness of his cheeks was as little blurred by any considerable growth of beard as by the glow of blood. His clothing was neither new nor of more than ordinary quality, but it, and his manner of wearing it was marked by a hard masculine neatness.

Description of Wilmer, the gunsel