===About this Book=== Every genre has a standard by which others are judged. Case and point, Dashiell Hammett's detective novel ''The Maltese Falcon'' set said standard for the private eye genre upon its first release in 1930, and has endured the test of time ever since. Private eye Sam Spade has been hired by Miss Wonderley to find her sister, whom eloped with a louse by the name of Floyd Thursby. Miss Wonderley, however, is in fact the treacherous and beautiful Brigid O'Shaughnessey. To further thicken the plot, when Spade's partner Miles Archer gets shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself as both hunter and hunted: can he track down The Maltese Falcon, a jewel-encrusted bird that many deem to be worth killing for, before Gutman-the Fat Man-tracks ''him'' down?