The Maltese Falcon is a 1930 detective novel by American writer Dashiell Hammett, originally serialized in the magazine Black Mask beginning with the September 1929 issue. The story is told entirely in external third-person narrative; there is no description whatsoever of any character's thoughts or feelings, only what they say and do, and how they look. The novel has been adapted several times for the cinema.

Quick facts: Author, Country, Language, Genre, Published...
The Maltese Falcon
Cover of the first edition
AuthorDashiell Hammett
CountryUnited States
GenreDetective fiction
Published1930 (Alfred A. Knopf)
Media typePrint (hardcover)
Preceded byThe Dain Curse 
Followed byThe Glass Key 

The main character, Sam Spade (who also appeared later in some lesser-known short stories), was a departure from Hammett's nameless detective, The Continental Op. Spade combined several features of previous detectives, notably his cold detachment, keen eye for detail, unflinching and sometimes ruthless determination to achieve his own form of justice, and a complete lack of sentimentality. In 1990 the novel ranked 10th in Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time list by the Crime Writers' Association. Five years later, in a similar list by Mystery Writers of America, the novel was ranked third.

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