Asterisk denotes entries on real places.
Charles apartment. Nick and Nora’s upper-class residence in Manhattan’s Normandie Building. The apartment has a bedroom, bathroom, living room, and enough space to have a bar. Its building contains a restaurant and a bellboy, whom the Charleses pay to take care of their pet dog, Asta. However, like the city, the apartment’s furnishings are never described. Despite this, the Charleses seem to live in an airy, stylish place. Hammett achieves this impression through witty exchanges among his characters that strongly suggest that the Charleses have an expensive and elegant lifestyle. He reinforces this impression by describing other places in details that create an implied contrast with their apartment.
*Colorado. Mountainous former frontier state in the West that Nick compares to Manhattan. When the young Gilbert Wynant asks Nick about cannibalism, Nick gives him a book with an account about a prospecting party trapped by a blizzard in Montana and makes the point that while violence occurs in both Manhattan and Colorado, the violence in Colorado is more likely to dehumanize the men involved. In contrast, a gunman who bursts into the Charleses’ Manhattan apartment is apt to be greeted with a quick witticism and competent action.
Clyde Wynant’s laboratory. Place in which the inventor Clyde Wynant (the “Thin Man” of the novel’s title) conducts experiments and where his murdered body is found. The novel offers little description of the lab, beyond the fact that it has a heavy concrete floor. Wynant’s murder there reinforces the novel’s impression that no cultural site is free from the threat of violence in Hammett’s Manhattan. Violence occurs in domestic, public, and scientific locations. The lab is also important because only Nick thinks to look there. He does so specifically because murderer Clyde Macauley leaves the place out of the many comments he makes to misdirect investigators. This piece of sleuth work demonstrates Nick’s skill as a detective and also underscores the novel’s narrative technique of communicating key details through implication. The place that is not named is the most important place of all.
Jorgenson apartment. Upper-class Manhattan residence of Mimi and Christian Jorgenson. While the apartment appears to be virtually interchangeable with the Charleses’ apartment, it has a much different atmosphere. The Jorgensons are quick to feel threatened by outsiders and react angrily to anything they do not want to hear.
Nunheim’s apartment. Lower-class apartment of the minor thug Arthur Nunheim. When Nick Charles and Guild, the police officer investigating the Wolf murder, interrogate Nunheim at his home, Charles describes its building as dark, damp, smelly, and noisy. This apartment is one of the novel’s few settings that is described in sufficient detail to create a vivid, if implicit, contrast with the Charles’s apartment.
Pigiron Club. Manhattan speakeasy run by Studsy Burke, a former safecracker whom Nick Charles once arrested. The club has a comfortably shabby look and is full of people, noise, and smoke in the evenings. Dorothy Wynand and Nick’s wife Nora are out of place in the Pigiron Club and cannot understand the slang spoken by its criminal patrons.