The Maltese Falcon

Dashiell Hammett

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.

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The Maltese Falcon

'Hammett took murder out of the Venetian vase and dropped it in the alley'
Raymond Chandler

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.

Production Details

The Maltese Falcon book
  • Bound in buckram.
  • 240 pages.
  • 10 black-and-white illustrations.
  • Book size: 8¾" × 5½" .


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Review by RikZak on 8th Jun 2013

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 5/5

"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]

Review by CarltonC on 27th May 2013

Text: Illustrations: Binding: Rating: 4/5

"May I first declare that I have seen the 1941 film version several times, starring Humphrey Bogart, Mary Astor, Peter Lorre, and Sydney Greenstreet. Their performances colour my reading of the novel ..." [read more]

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