I’ve never read a book where my mind imagines the characters and scenes in black and white until now. The darkly handsome, well dressed Detective and the gorgeous Damsel in Distress, the lover who just won’t go away, the loyal worker….this book has got it all. As the Classics Circuit continues its Tour of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, I myself have indulged in a reading of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammet, a man that at one point in time was known as the “master of the detective story’. The Maltese Falcon is of course probably most well know for the 1941 movie adaptation which is why I think I am imagining it in black and white despite the fact that I must admit I have never seen the classic film. The trailer is fantastic however and how could it not be with Humphrey Bogart playing the womanizing Detective Sam Spade.
The real Maltese Falcon is an interesting read and even more so if you are a crime or detective fiction reader. I myself am not, but the book still kept me guessing and interested. Detective Sam Spade is a fascinating character on many levels..he is both like-able and detestable. Something I find is often the case in the best characters of all time. The mystery of the falcon itself is also quite interesting. I think you could ask the average individual if they had ever heard of the “maltese falcon” and they would say yes but be completely unable to explain exactly what it is. While I don’t want to give anything away about the plot or ending to this wonderful mystery, I will say it is a book full of characters and dialogue that simply jump off the page. The characterization is spectacular…Effie Perine is one of my personal favorites but there are so many. I know it is a book that many would enjoy…and a true classic in its own right beyond the film adaptation. I highly recommend it to readers of this genre. Also truly interesting are the variety of covers I was able to dig up, my personal copy that I read was the very last which I found the most glamorous!
In my research I also came across some interesting links for mystery lovers:
Mystery.net : Lots of information on mysteries of all types including books, authors, film and TV
Stop You’re Killing Me: A great site with information on the latest in mystery including a newsletter
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books: Information on mysteries new and old, even first editions