The Thin Man

Dashiell Hammett's 1934 delightful detective confection was left under the tree for somebody else, but how could I resist taking another tour of my favorite of all mystery stories? The couple at its cocktail-laced center, Nick and Nora Charles, may just be the most charming married pair you'll ever come across in a novel, and Hammett's original book (his last) is even more winning than the entertaining William Powell-Myrna Loy movie.

April 17: "In less than three years, both GM and Chrysler would be bankrupt, and a resurgent Ford would wow Wall Street..."

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…

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