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28 November 2012 / getrus

The Maltese Falcon — Dashiell Hammett

This book was amazing. (I know I say that about most books I review, but I really mean it this time.)

Sam Spade is a PI in San Francisco and a young woman comes into his office named Miss Wonderly.  (The minute I started reading the opening scene it reminded me of the PI shows where the main character does a monologue voice over.) She apparently needed to find her sister and bring her back home, before mom and dad find out she had gone.  This, however, was far from the truth.  She was actually involved in a theft (of the Maltese Falcon) and trying to make sure she got her share of the money.  Oh, and her name was not Wonderly (of course, who uses real names when they first meet someone?) it is Brigid O’Shaughnessy.

Through intrigue, murder (three to be exact), and great detective work we find out about Joel Cairo, Floyd Thursby, and  Gutman.  Also, what really happened Sam’s partner Miles Archer.  And how all of this connects back to the Maltese Falcon.  (Which had been stolen from a Russian.)

Hammett wrote a mystery which will always be remembered for its greatness.  (I think it might help that Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor made a theatrical version in 1941.)

**** (Four Stars)

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