Return of the Thin Man

Certain canonical authors and their creations are so beloved that any new bit of Holy Text relating to them arrives with the force of welcome revelation. Such is the case with Dashiell Hammett's two story treatments, written prior to the films that eventually bore the titles After the Thin Man and Another Thin Man. These novellas deliver with parsimonious stylishness all the detective thrills that a diehard fan of Nick and Nora Charles could want.

April 19: "What you see first, after the starting gun's crack, is a column of bobbing runners, thousands of them, surging downhill..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…