Samuel Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961) was a crime novelist known for creating such classic characters as Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest). Hammett was employed as a Pinkerton private detective and later in life spent five months in a federal penitentiary. He was a hard drinker, a womanizer with money problems, and the veteran of two world wars. He is also widely considered to be one of the greatest writers ...

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