Former detective Nick Charles and his wife Nora travel to New York City for the Christmas/New Year holidays. While there, Nick runs in to the daughter of an old client, and soon after learns that the client's former lover has been murdered. Despite his protestations of early retirement, Nick finds himself drawn into the family and the case. Dashiell Hammett is considered a master of the hard-boiled detective fiction novel, and I certainly found that to be the case with this novel. The Thin Man immediately drew me, fascinating me with its characters and making a quick read with its sharp and witty language. Hammett doesn't linger long on descriptions yet I always had perfect pictures in my head of what was going on, where it was happening, and exactly who it was happening with or to. Hammett deftly crafts a dysfunctional family in the Wynant/Jorgensen household, a seedy cast of degenerates in the mobsters and informants Nick encounters, a beleaguered police force, and more, all of who felt well-rounded and believable. And of course, Hammett creates here the famous Nick and Nora couple, who are absolutely delightful in their interactions together. The story and particularly its characters were so compelling that I found I wasn't really trying to solve the case like I usually do with mystery books. Yes, I was a little suspicious of certain characters here and there, but I wasn't really formulating theories of my own much because I was too busy just waiting to see what happen next. By the end of the novel, I was certainly surprised by the tale that Hammett wove and hadn't remotely guessed the conclusion at all. Overall, I very much enjoyed this book and will be looking forward to reading more Hammett in the near future. I'd recommend this book for those who read for plot as well as though who read for character and, of course, I'd especially recommend it for fans of mystery novels.