San Francisco private investigator Sam Spade is asked to help find an artifact that several parties are interested in finding. He gets strung along by a new client Miss Wonderly, who spits out an interesting tale about her sister running away. She asks Sam and his partner to help find her. Well, things begin to go downhill after the first couple of murders that sets things into motion in this 1930 publication of THE MALTESE FALCON written by Dashiell Hammett. There’s a film by the same name that will be forever immortalized by Humphrey Bogart, the actor who epitomized the cold and distant detective.
This is my second Dashiell Hammett book and I was in the mood for a light mystery. If you consider murder and mayhem without all the gore “light.” I so enjoyed RED HARVEST that featured the nameless “op” from San Francisco that I was excited to read another one of his books. Samuel “Sam” Spade runs the detective agency of Spade & Archer with his partner, Miles. Sam is described as having a “blond satan’s head” and a face with a v-motif. He’s a somewhat likable character although he does have a problem with authority figures. He’s charismatic at times and attentive. However, he can be stubborn, cold and distant. His trustworthy secretary, Effie Perine watches his back and serves as his sounding board. To sum up, THE MALTESE FALCON reading experience did help pass the time away. There are some slight spoilers ahead. Continue reading