For those who've never read the story before, this is the synopsis on the back of this edition, "A treasure worth killing for. Sam Spade, a slightly shopworn private eye with his own solitary code of ethics. A perfumed grafter named Joel Cairo, a fat man name Gutman, and Brigid O'Shaughnessy, a beautiful and treacherous woman whose loyalties shift at the drop of a dime. These are the ingredients of Dashiell Hammett's coolly glittering gem of detective fiction, a novel that has haunted three generations of readers." That's the plot in a nutshell. Many twists and turns, much back stabbing and Sam Spade the hard bitten private eye must navigate the plots and suspicious pathways to figure out what the Maltese Falcon is and who has it and what's it worth. Great story, great movie, just great stuff.
This is the review I wrote for my Goodread's bookshelf, "I've read before and was very happy to enjoy as much again this time. Dashiell Hammett has produced an excellent example of a hard-boiled mystery and Sam Spade is the penultimate gumshoe, staying one step ahead of trouble and playing off the baddies against each other. It's a classic mystery, turned into an excellent movie by John Huston, one of Humphrey Bogart's best movies. A great cast of characters, from Brigid O'Shaughnessy to Joel Cairo and Kasper Gutman, through his faithful, lovely secretary, Effie Perine. A story that everyone should read and marvel about." Probably not added a whole heck of a lot. Suffice it to say that Hammett is an excellent writer and has turned out an exceptional mystery.
Enjoy! Number 4 or 2013 comes up tomorrow. :0)