Tag Archives: Dashiell Hammett

Sherlock Holmes and The Thin Man

Sherlock Holmes

Watson and Sherlock, getting ready for a busy day of detecting. Public domain image courtesy of Pacostein, Wikimedia Commons.

No, no, no, it’s not the title of a new Sherlock episode. But doesn’t it sound like that?

This has been an insanely busy week for me with a lot of things going on.  It was a relief to sit down now and then with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. I’d promised the people of #bookbloggers chat (a Twitter tweetchat) that I would read Sherlock Holmes, so I fulfilled my promise. Anyway, I like the Benedict Cumberbatch version of Sherlock so I was curious to read the original version at its literary finest.

Doyle wrote this book as a series of cases, so that each “chapter” in the book has a beginning, a middle and an end. That was handy since my mental concentration was mostly on my activities this week.

I found myself trying to guess what happened through the clues that Doyle drops, but Sherlock got me every time. The clues seem so puzzling at first, and then they are so simple to understand once Sherlock explains them. Arrrrgh.

By contrast, I’m now working my way through Dashiell Hammett’s The Thin Man, featuring Nick and Nora Charles. Nick and Nora are a rich and glamorous couple who solve the occasional homicide when they’re not busy walking their dog Asta, sipping martinis or making wisecracks.

Both of them are flippant, but it’s harder to detect in the book. I was never quite sure when Nick and Nora were being serious and when they weren’t.

Maybe it takes the screen and living actors to bring out that flippancy. I’ve seen William Powell as Nick and Myrna Loy as Nora; they do an excellent job of bringing those lovable characters to life. Nick loves to tease his wife and it’s more apparent on film, it seems.

Hmmm….maybe it’s time for somebody in Hollywood to do a remake with the 2014 versions of Nick and Nora. We could have some fun with that — they could go off on a trip to London sometime, meet Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock, do a crossover episode and solve a case together.

(Quit snickering. I can dream, right?)

For the lovers of classic movies, here’s your viewing enjoyment this morning — a tribute to Nick and Nora Charles, courtesy of catalina90 on YouTube. (A bit long, I know, but much of it is so funny.)


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