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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Sam Spade’s Birthday

This week marks the 77th anniversary of the publication of Dashiell Hammett's mystery, The Maltese Falcon. Although it had been serialized in Black Mask Magazine in 1929, a version revised by Hammett was published by Alfred A. Knopf on February 14, 1930. Hammett, an ex- Pinkerton agent turned author, created fictional P.I. Sam Spade, who became a model for “hard-boiled” detectives that followed. And of course, Humphrey Bogart immortalized the sleuth in the 1941 film version of the novel.

Hammett published only five novels: Red Harvest, The Dain Curse, The Maltese Falcon, The Glass Key and The Thin Man, along with several collections of short stories, but left an imprint on the crime novel.

If you like Hammett’s style, check out:

The Moving Target by Ross MacDonald.

Hit Parade by Lawrence Block.

The Crimes of Jordan Wise by Bill Pronzini.

High Profile by Robert B. Parker.

Nicotine Kiss by Loren Estleman.

Do you have a favorite fictional P.I.? If so, let us know.

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