The Continental Op: complete Classic of the greatest characters in storied history of detective fiction

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Before Sam Spade, before Philip Marlowe, before Mike Hammer, before Lew Archer, and before nearly every hard-boiled detective in mystery fiction, there was the Continental Op.

Who was he? No one knows, since Dashiell Hammett never gives his name. Through these two dozen stories we see the Op solve crimes, usually murder, while being shot at, assaulted, and dishing out punishment better than he receives it.

This collection includes the very first Continental Op story, “Arson Plus”.

kindle link below, for a paperback even more complete version you can find one here

Return of the Thin Man

“This first unabridged appearance of two Nick and Nora Charles ‘novellas’ by Hammett should be an occasion for delight, and it is.” —The Wall Street Journal

Dashiell Hammett was a crime writer who elevated the genre to true literature, and The Thin Man was Hammett’s last—and most successful—novel. Following the enormous success of The Thin Man movie in 1934, Hammett was commissioned to write stories for additional films. He wrote two full-length novellas, for the films that became After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. Bringing back his classic characters, retired private investigator Nick Charles and his former debutante wife Nora, who return home to find Nora’s family gardener murdered, pulling the couple back into another deadly game of cat and mouse. Hammett has written two fully satisfying Thin Man stories, with classic, barbed Hammett dialogue and fully developed characters.

Written in the style of a screenplay treatment, The Return of the Thin Man is a hugely entertaining read that brings back two classic characters from one of the greatest mystery writers who ever lived. This book is destined to become essential reading for Hammett’s millions of fans and a new generation of mystery readers the world over.

Red Harvest (The Continental Op)

The steadfast and sturdy Continental Op has been summoned to the town of Personville—known as Poisonville—a dusty mining community splintered by competing factions of gangsters and petty criminals.

The Op has been hired by Donald Willsson, publisher of the local newspaper, who gave little indication about the reason for the visit. No sooner does the Op arrive, than the body count begins to climb . . . starting with his client. With this last honest citizen of Poisonville murdered, the Op decides to stay on and force a reckoning—even if that means taking on an entire town.

Red Harvest is more than a superb crime novel: it is a classic exploration of corruption and violence in the American grain.

The Thin Man

Nick Charles seems to find trouble wherever he goes. He thinks his sleuthing days are behind him when Julia Wolf, a former acquaintance, turns up dead. Nick—thanks to some persuasion from his enchanting wife, Nora—finds himself falling back into old habits and making a few polite inquiries.

The prime suspect, Julia’s lover and boss Clyde Miller Wynant, has vanished without a trace. Everyone is after him, but Nick is not so sure Wynant is the culprit. And when another dubious figure bursts into their bedroom, waving a loaded handgun, it seems Nick and Nora’s adventure is only just beginning.

Nick and Nora Charles are among Dashiell Hammett’s most alluring creations: a rich, glamourous couple who solve homicides in between wisecracks and martinis. At once knowing and unabashedly romantic, The Thin Man is a murder mystery that doubles as a sophisticated comedy of manners.

The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett

ONE OF TIME MAGAZINE‘S 100 BEST MYSTERY AND THRILLER BOOKS OF ALL TIME

Detective Sam Spade is a private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. When his partner is killed during a stakeout, he is drawn into the hunt for a fantastic treasure with a dubious provenance—a golden bird encrusted with jewels. Also on the trail are a perfumed grifter named Joel Cairo, an oversized adventurer named Gutman, and Spade’s new client Brigid O’Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime.

These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett’s coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted generations of readers.