Last Updated on August 6, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 530
Here are some quotes from Dashiell Hammett's The Thin Man:
Tall—over six feet—and one of the thinnest men I've ever seen. He must be about fifty now, and his hair was almost white when I knew him. Usually needs a haircut, ragged brindle mustache, bites his fingernails.
This is Nick's description of Clyde Wynant, the missing inventor who is at the center of the plot. Wynant is portrayed as eccentric.
That's Mamma—divorces a lunatic and marries a gigolo.
Dorothy says this about her mother while speaking to Nick. Her mother, Mimi, divorced her father, Clyde Wynant, who was a crazy inventor, in order to marry Christian Jorgensen, who has already spent his wife's divorce settlement when the action of the story begins. Mimi is an unstable sort of person who seems suspicious, but the evidence against her is a red herring, or a false clue that is intended to distract attention away from the true killer, Macaulay.
Don't you ever think you'd like to go back to detecting once in a while just for the fun of it? You know, when something special comes up, like the Lindb—
Nora asks this of her husband, Nick Charles. He was formerly a detective but gave up this work when he married his wife, who is a rich socialite. She jokingly starts to ask him if he would jump back into detective work if he could get involved in a case like the kidnapping of the baby of famed aviator Charles Lindbergh (a real case that garnered a lot of attention in 1932). Though Nick does not need the money from working, he and Nora clearly enjoy the adventure of the work.
He's an old Greek fool, but I'm used to him.
Nora says this to Dorothy about her husband, Nick, whose father's last name was Charalambides. It was shortened when the family came through Ellis Island. Nick and Nora are from very different backgrounds, as Nick is a Greek detective and Nora is a wealthy socialite. Nonetheless, they have a very close marriage, and they enjoy solving crimes together.
He'd been sawed up in pieces and buried in lime or something so there wasn't much flesh left on him, according to the report I got, but his clothes had been stuck in with him rolled up in a bundle, and enough was left of the inside ones to tell us something. There was part of a cane, too, with a rubber tip.
Guild says this. Macauley has buried Clyde Wynant's body in the floor of Wynant's shop, but he leaves misleading clues, such as the cane and a keychain marked with the initials "D.W.Q." These clues are intended to throw the police and Nick off track, but Nick realizes that the body is that of Wynant.
Not unless you're in a hurry. Let's stick around awhile. This excitement has put us behind in our drinking.
Nick says this to Nora at the end of the book in response to her question about whether they should leave New York City for San Francisco. After solving the case, Nick wants to get back to his life of partying and ease.