Nathan Ward

Johanna Lawshea

Nathan Ward, who was an editor with American Heritage, has written for the New York Times and other publications. He is the author of Dark Harbor: The War for the New York Waterfront. His latest book is The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett (Bloomsbury USA) While Dashiel Hammett’s life on center stage has been well-documented, the question of how he got there has not. That largely overlooked phase is the subject of Nathan Ward’s enthralling The Lost Detective. Hammett’s childhood, his life in San Francisco, and especially his experience as a detective deeply informed his writing and his characters, from the nameless Continental Op, hero of his stories and early novels, to Sam Spade and Nick Charles. Based on original research across the country, The Lost Detective is the first book to illuminate Hammett’s transformation from real detective to great American detective writer, throwing brilliant new light on one of America’s most celebrated and remembered novelists and his world.