Books: First Degree

THE THIN MAN—Dashiell Hammett— Knopf ($2).

Before Dashiell Hammett came over the horizon, U. S. readers could point with pride to no first-rate living U. S. authors of detectifiction (with the exception of such competent plot-tanglers as Mary Roberts Rinehart, S. S. Van Dine). Though murder stories have long been the main meat of a solid minority of U. S. readers, the quality of the domestic supply has been fortified by English importations. But no longer can oldsters shake their heads over the departed glories of Edgar Allan Poe. In Dashiell Hammett the...

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