I've just joined a new book club in Abu Dhabi and the book that we read for this month (my first attendance) was a classic entitled 'The Maltese Falcon' by American author Dashiell Hammett.
Considered one of the greatest crime novels of the 20th century, it stars private detective Sam Spade who is hired by the fragrant Miss Wonderley to track down her sister, who has eloped with a louse called Floyd Thursby. But Miss Wonderley is in fact the beautiful and treacherous Brigid O'Shaughnessy, and when Spade's partner Miles Archer is shot while on Thursby's trail, Spade finds himself both hunter and hunted: can he track down the jewel-encrusted bird, a treasure worth killing for, before the Fat Man finds him?
The 1929 novel was originally serialised in the magazine Black Mask. It has been adapted several times for the cinema. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked 'The Maltese Falcon' 56th on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.
Other novels by Dashiell Hammett:
The Dain Curse
The Glass Key
The Thin Man