Previously only available serialized over seven issues of The Armchair Detective magazine, this examination is the single most influential book-length analysis of Dashiell Hammett's novels. Spanning all sections of his career, the book discusses five novels: The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, The Maltese Falcon, Red Harvest , and The Thin Man . Detailed analysis shows how the author and his work changed over time. Each novel is discussed in its own chapter with comparative criticism, and there is a list of resources for further reading and research. Additionally, this compiled text includes a new chapter in which the author discusses the impact Hammett has had on his own life.