“HAMMETT’S FINEST WORK AND POSSIBLY THE BEST AMERICAN DETECTIVE NOVEL EVER WRITTEN”
HAMMETT, Dashiell. The Maltese Falcon. New York and London: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930. Octavo, original gray cloth. Housed in a custom cloth slipcase.
First edition of Hammett’s most famous and influential novel.
In 1995, the Mystery Writers of America ranked The Maltese Falcon second in its top 100 mystery novels of all time (first was Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes works, and third Edgar Allan Poe's Tales of Mystery and Imagination). On its publication, the New Republic called the novel "glistening and fascinating," achieving "an absolute distinction of real art… [and] the genuine presence of myth" (Bruccoli & Layman, 119-20). "The only novel in which the famous Sam Spade appears, regarded by many as Hammett's finest work, this is possibly the best American detective novel ever written. Whatever its merits, this and the two earlier Hammett novels established the American hard-boiled private-eye novel as a subgenre of crime fiction unique to the United States" (Crown Crime Companion: Top 100 Mystery Novels 2). Serially published in five parts in Black Mask, 1929-30. Without extremely scare original dust jacket. Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books 16. Layman A3.1.a. Very faint evidence of bookplate.
Text fresh, faint soiling and toning to cloth. A scarce and desirable near-fine copy.