One hundred and thirteen years ago, today, Dashiell Hammett was born. This was a great day in history, because so much of what you read and see today, was directly influenced by this man.
Crime literature was virtually one big game of "Clue." With stuffy people in smoking rooms and libraries, waiting patiently to be done away with. Then the protagonist could conveniently recite droll dialogue while both innocent and suspect alike, stood by without regard to their own personal well-being.
As Raymond Chandler pointed out in the essay that Ellroy was quoting from, he brought crime back to the people that actually committed it and for more plausible reasons then what existed in literature at the time. Thus, giving you something to be actually thrilled, shocked, and enchanted by...instead of failed academicians making inane accusations, between sips of sherry.
So raise whatever you are drinking, please and toast Samuel Dashiell Hammett.