Prophecies and Penalties Chapter 40

It was all over but the healing. So Emily Fisher thought once Stephen Nash’s murderers were identified and killed. Nick and Nora Charles could have told her otherwise:

“What do you think will happen to Mimi and Dorothy and Gilbert now?”

Nick and Nora at their favorite activity: drinking

Nick and Nora at their favorite activity: drinking

“Nothing new. They’ll go on being Mimi and Dorothy and Gilbert . . . Murder doesn’t round out anybody’s life except the murdered’s and sometimes the murderer’s.”

“That may be,” Nora said, “but it’s all pretty unsatisfactory.”

— Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man (1934)

As Emily Fisher finds out in chapter 40 of Prophecies and Penalties, “Things are not what I expected.” The fall-out from the Nash murder investigation continues, and Emily is finding it all “pretty unsatisfactory.”


About Brian Bixby

I enjoy history because it helps me understand people. I'm writing fiction for much the same reason.
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9 Responses to Prophecies and Penalties Chapter 40

  1. L. Palmer says:

    Nice shout out to some classic films.

    • Brian Bixby says:

      Thank you. For those of you puzzled by Laura’s reference to “films,” there were six in the series of “Thin Man” films, all starring William Powell and Myrna Loy.

      I’ve seen the first three in the series, Laura. What about you?

      • L. Palmer says:

        I’ve only seen the first one. It’s something I need to brush up on.

        • Brian Bixby says:

          #2 is based on a Hammett screenplay, #3 was adapted from a Hammett short story. There was a substantial break between #4 and #5 due to WWII, and #5 and #6 changed Nick Charles from a Greek to a Yankee New Englander.

          There must be something about Holloywood’s perception of Greeks, because they’d rewrite the Greek character in “Peyton Place” as a WASP, too.

  2. this is amazing! going to start from the beginning though!

  3. crimsonprose says:

    You’re getting inventive in your ways to introduce each episode. Makes my efforts (or lack of) seem abrupt in the extreme.

    • Brian Bixby says:

      It’s been my way of trying to compensate for not writing full articles in each blog post, as I used to.

      Though this is a special case. The concluding lines of “The Thin Man” have been in the back of my mind almost since I started this story. It’s a convention of murder mysteries that the characters’ problems are resolved when the murderer is identified. Hammett had been a detective in real life, and knew better. So, surprise! My story didn’t end with the murderer being discovered, either. I hope that my readers, as they read these later chapters, agree that the story couldn’t have ended there.

      • crimsonprose says:

        Though, of course, that is the typical place for a detective story to end, it’s more apt, and expected, to finish when all (important) issues raised have been resolved (or at least, the end is in sight. Yet so often the killer is named, and we’re left with characters ‘hanging’. No, no pun intended. 🙂

  4. Pingback: Classic Television Thursday #015 – The Thin Man: Robot Client (1958) « Durnmoose Movie Musings

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