“Spade took his elbow from the fence-post and leaned down to look at the weapon, but he did not touch it.
“Yes”, he said, “Webley-Fosbery automatic revolver. That’s it. Thirty-eight, eight shot. They don’t make them anymore. How many gone out of it?”
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett 1930
Serialized detective action. What could be more exciting? I’ve read a lot of detective fiction over the years and a lot of it seems to hearken back to Sam Spade and his determination to achieve his own form of justice. He has his own personal rules that he needs to live by. Everyone wanted to be the cool detective – the individual standing against society when it interferes with his basic beliefs. The Travis McGee books by John D MacDonald seem to carry this on to the nth degree. I was tempted to include one of them but found them trumped by Hammett.
Objects in this book have a sense of weight and worth. The hat is in most of the scenes and almost functions like a character as it weaves through the story much like Holden Caulfield’s hat in Catcher in the Rye. Guns are guns. October 2014