Homage and literary reference in "If The Dead Rise Not"

edited July 2012 in General
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!
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