The Maltese Falcon

By Dashiell Hammett

02/05/2019 unabridged
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The definitive masterpiece of the hard-boiled detective genre, The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929 and was almost immediately acknowledged as not only a great crime novel but an enduring masterpiece of American fiction. Tough, cynical PI Sam Spade—a man who, as his creator explained, is “able to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with”—is hired by the story’s irresistible femme fatale, Brigid O’Shaughnessy, to locate the client’s sister by tailing her companion. Spade’s partner, Miles Archer, takes on the assignment, and quickly both he and the man he was shadowing are murdered. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner’s death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters—all of them after a legendary statuette of a falcon fashioned long ago for King Charles of Spain. Made of gold and encrusted with jewels, the falcon is worth a fortune. Missing for centuries, it resurfaced in Paris in 1911, covered in black enamel to disguise its value, and then disappeared again until it was traced to Constantinople—and now, it would seem, to Spade’s own backyard.

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Summary

Summary

The definitive masterpiece of the hard-boiled detective genre, The Maltese Falcon first appeared in the pages of Black Mask magazine in 1929 and was almost immediately acknowledged as not only a great crime novel but an enduring masterpiece of American fiction.

Tough, cynical PI Sam Spade—a man who, as his creator explained, is “able to take care of himself in any situation, able to get the best of anybody he comes in contact with”—is hired by the story’s irresistible femme fatale, Brigid O’Shaughnessy, to locate the client’s sister by tailing her companion. Spade’s partner, Miles Archer, takes on the assignment, and quickly both he and the man he was shadowing are murdered. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner’s death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters—all of them after a legendary statuette of a falcon fashioned long ago for King Charles of Spain.

Made of gold and encrusted with jewels, the falcon is worth a fortune. Missing for centuries, it resurfaced in Paris in 1911, covered in black enamel to disguise its value, and then disappeared again until it was traced to Constantinople—and now, it would seem, to Spade’s own backyard.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Dashiell Hammett…is a master of the detective novel, yes, but also one hell of a writer.” Boston Globe
The Maltese Falcon is not only probably the best detective story we have ever read, it is an exceedingly well written novel.” Times Literary Supplement (London)
“Hammett virtually invented the hard-boiled crime novel…One of the best-known detective novels ever printed.” Washington Post
“Jumps from the pages of its genre and into literature…Dorothy Parker, never a pushover,…claimed to have read the novel some thirty or forty times…Hammett was an original who created a profoundly influential literary template.” Guardian (London)
“Hammett’s prose [is] clean and entirely unique. His characters [are] as sharply and economically defined as any in American fiction.” New York Times

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Dashiell Hammett

Dashiell Hammett (1894–1961) was an American author of hard-boiled detective novels and short stories. He is widely regarded as one of the finest mystery writers of all time. In addition to The Maltese Falcon, his pioneering novels include Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, and the #1 New York Times bestseller The Thin Man.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Mystery & Detective
Audience: Adult
Language: English