Introduced by Steve Erickson
Illustrated by David Eccles
With this gripping 1930s thriller, Dashiell Hammett single-handedly reinvented the detective novel for the 20th century.
'Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it in the alley'
Miss Wonderly has dark red hair, a slender body and plenty of hundred dollar bills. Wise-cracking San Francisco private eye Sam Spade is not too concerned about whether the story she tells, about her sister running away with a man called Floyd Thursby, is true. But, when Spade’s partner is gunned down on the trail of Thursby, he realises that the beautiful Miss Wonderly is not what she appears. It seems she holds the key to the whereabouts of a priceless jewel-encrusted falcon, believed to have belonged to the Knights Templar, and she changes her loyalties at the drop of a dime.
Dashiell Hammett worked for a detective agency for seven years before he quit, due to a combination of ill health and political differences with the police force. With The Maltese Falcon, first published in 1930, he dragged the detective novel into the 20th century. Sam Spade was the original hard-boiled detective: quick-thinking, sharp-talking, with a weakness for a pretty dame. This edition contains illustrations by David Eccles in the style of a graphic novel. In a fine new introduction Steve Erickson, film critic of the LA Times, reveals how little director John Huston changed the novel for the celebrated 1941 adaptation, and how much the novel has influenced thrillers afterwards, both on screen and on the page.
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Review by amstorey on 14th Jul 2015
"One of my favorite escape movies. Hadn't read the book until I bought this edition. Not a difficult read of course but a lot of fun. The quality of the book is excellent as usual. I enjoyed picking..." [read more]
Review by patternskies on 28th Oct 2013
"The Maltese Falcon is the perfect crime novel, vividly capturing the feel of a time gone by. Hammett's Sam Spade ranks beside Chandler's Philip Marlowe as one of the most important literary crime char..." [read more]
Review by RikZak on 8th Jun 2013
"I've seen John Huston's 1941 film, The Maltese Falcon a couple of times over the years but after reading this Folio I must say Huston missed the mark in casting the amazing characters I believe Hamme..." [read more]