Dear Library Patrons, The mission of NYPL is to inspire lifelong learning, advance knowledge, and strengthen our communities. Government support only pays for a portion of our work, so we rely on you to help - from stocking our shelves with amazing books, expanding our e-Book selection, classes, events, or even making free WiFi accessible to all. We are trying to raise $500,000 by December 31: an ambitious goal, but one that will fund incredible learning and reading in our community. Please consider donating to help keep our services free to all New Yorkers in 2015 >>


The Maltese Falcon

Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961

(Paperback - 1992)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Maltese Falcon
A murder involves Sam Spade in a dangerous search for a valuable statue.

Series that include this title

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1992
Edition: 1st Vintage crimeBlack Lizard ed
ISBN: 0679740945
Branch Call Number: MYSTERY H
Characteristics: 217 p. ; 21 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

I found an old copy at my library’s used book sale and thought “What the hell?” I never would have read it if I hadn’t tripped over it. I think I enjoyed it more for the glimpse into the past than for the actual plot. It’s a classic, no doubt about it, and I can appreciate it for such, much as one would appreciate a fine work of art in a museum. A large part of what may have shocked readers when it first came out may be considered “old hat” to the modern reader.

Jul 23, 2012
  • Roxannajayc rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

One of the best detective novels of the 20th century.

Oct 07, 2011
  • lisastitch rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

A classic--and the beginning of the hard-boiled detective genre.

Aug 03, 2011
  • turveydrop rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Not always knowing what's going on = suspense.

Jan 03, 2011
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Hammett has the same eye for people that Sam Spade has – their looks, their demeanor, their actions. Unfortunately while he describes everything that Spade sees, he never describes what Spade thinks. When smiling-eyed red-headed Brigid O’Shaughnessy brings Sam a case, the detective might know that he can’t take the facts at face value, but the reader doesn’t. We ride with Spade along the mean streets of San Francisco as he furiously tries to figure out what is going on, but he has the distinct advantage of being an experienced detective while we are (or at least I am) just an inexperienced observer. Spade is confused and frustrated by the mystery at hand, but without Spade’s experience the reader is even more confused and frustrated.

Luckily the writing is so cool, so slick, so polished, that staring at it for a few hours is still a pleasure.

Dec 08, 2010
  • e_long rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This is where you need to start. If you haven't read this, you don't know Noir!


Add a Quote

Jan 03, 2011
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Samuel Spade’s jaw was long and bony, his chin a jutting V under the more flexible V of his mouth. His nostrils curved back to make another, smaller, V. His yellow-grey eyes were horizontal. The V motif was picked up again by thickish brows rising outward from twin creases above a hooked nose, and his pale brown hair grew down – from high flat temples – in a point on his forehead. He looked rather pleasantly like a blond satan.

Jan 03, 2011
  • lisahiggs rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

“I want you to know that I couldn’t be any fonder of you if you were my own son; but – well, by Gad! – if you lose a son it’s possible to get another – and there’s only one Maltese falcon.”


Add a Summary

Blamed by the police for his partner's death, hard-boiled detective Sam Spade searches for a stolen Middle Eastern statuette.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Notice

There are no notices for this title yet.

Find it at NYPL


Other Formats

Buy It Now

Support your library, keep it forever!

View Purchase Options Learn more about this program

Your Cart

Hello! We noticed you have the following items in your cart right now:

If you'd still like to purchase the items you have in your cart, you can do that now.

You'll be able to purchase your eBook after you have checked out your current cart.

The Maltese Falcon
Hammett, Dashiell, 1894-1961
The Maltese Falcon

To continue with your eBook purchase immediately, you can clear your cart by clicking below.

All items will be removed from your cart.

I'd like to keep browsing! I'll decide later.

Explore Further

Browse the Shelf

Subject Headings



Powered by BiblioCommons.
app08 Version gurli Last updated 2014/12/09 10:52