Dashiell Hammett. (May 27, 1894 – January 10, 1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories, a screenplay writer, and political activist. Among the enduring characters he created are Sam Spade (The Maltese Falcon), Nick and Nora Charles (The Thin Man), and the Continental Op (Red Harvest and The Dain Curse). Source: Wikipedia.
New York City in 1894 is a beautifully gilded cage for American heiress Caroline Maxwell. Love, respect, and independence of mind are essential to her dream of a happy future, but they have no place in her mother's single-minded pursuit of a prestigious match for Caroline.
5 classics (new and old) for your summer reading list (from the 2012 summer reading guide)
"If my children are silly, I must hope to be always sensible of it... This is the only point, I flatter myself, on which we do not agree. I had hoped that our sentiments coincided in every particular, but I must so far differ from you as to think our two youngest daughters uncommonly foolish." (Mr Bennet to his wife; Ch. 7)