Dashiell Hammett. The Maltese Falcon (1930) 267 pp.
Set in San Francisco in 1928, this is the story of the search for a
priceless statuette by tough guy private eye Sam Spade. The action starts
when Spade and his partner Miles Archer are hired for a routine shadow
job by Brigid O’Shaughnessy. After Archer is murdered, Spade sets out to
uncover the truth. The trail leads him to Casper (“The Fat Man”) Gutman,
Joel Cairo, and the gunsel Wilmer, who are weaving a tangled web of lies,
betrayal, and murder in their quest for the black bird. Spade is torn between
his duty to his partner and his desires for love and money. Perhaps the
most famous of all San Francisco mysteries and one of the seminal novels
of hardboiled detective fiction.
Baird & Greenwood 1036