The Thin Man had a few nice moments but was overall disappointing, especially when compared with Dashiell Hammett’s best known work The Maltese Falcon. Hammett was a good writer, but this seemed bored and perfunctory. I didn’t care about the intricacies of the plot (a noir murder mystery) and I didn’t care what happened to any of the characters (socialites, cops and lowlifes in NYC), even if some of them were a little interesting. The book ends with a four-page dialogue wherein protagonist Nick Charles tells his wife and sorta sidekick Nora, in elaborate detail, whodunit and howdunit. With the last sentence of the book Nora replies, summing up how I felt about the book: “That may be,” Nora said, “but it’s all pretty unsatisfactory.”
Weirdly it was the last novel Hammett wrote, though he lived another 27 years after its publication.