Homage and literary reference in "If The Dead Rise Not"
  • Mr. Kerr combines all my favourite elements of 20th Century fiction in the Bernie Gunther series: hard-boiled detective, thriller, social commentary, wry humour, police procedure, Nazis, spies, Jews and early and mid-century Germany as a backdrop. What could be better? To top it off I just discovered a wonderful homage to Dashiell Hammett's Thin Man characters Nick and Nora Charles. Bernie meets and (I assume) will fall in love with Noreen Charalambides. Noreen is a Jewish, American writer with a husband, Nick, who's alcoholism seems to be a way of life. Clear reference here to Nick and Nora. In the Thin Man series, Hammett portrays Nick Charles as the sophisticated detective who is the son of a Greek immigrant who's original name is Charalambides. Finally, it turns out that Hammett modelled Nora Charles after his long-time lover, Lillian Hellman, a Jewish American writer--full circle back to Noreen Charalambides and Bernie Gunther.

    I hope there are more such references and I sure will look for them.

  • Though David's post was in 2012, I just wanted to clarify that Dashiell Hammett only wrote ONE Nick & Nora Charles book. He refers to the "Thin Man series" when the only series was a movie series. Hammett had little to do with that series except receive a check.
  • Well done both of you. Literary detection is so much fun!