Dashiell Hammett is the next author on deck in the Crime Read Along at Soho Press, so I will be reading his Maltese Falcon this month.
According to his profile at American Masters, Hammett published only 5 novels in his lifetime, but he established the hard-boiled detective genre. He was a detective before he went to fight in World War I and when he returned after the war he began writing stories based on his experiences as a detective. The Thin Man, the Continental Op, and Sam Spade were all his creations. There is an extensive article on Hammett's work in film at Mysterynet.com
This post is part of the Crime Fiction Alphabet 2012 at Mysteries in Paradise.