One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(1894–1961), US novelist; full name Samuel Dashiell Hammett. He developed the hard-boiled style of detective fiction in works such as "The Maltese Falcon" (1930) and "The Thin Man" (1932), both of which were made into successful movies. He lived for many years with playwright Lillian Hellman; they were both persecuted for their left-wing views during the McCarthy era.
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