Why did I love this book?
As the father of the hard-boiled PI novel, Dashiell Hammett takes the reader through San Francisco, using full advantage of the fog, the streets and intersections, the drug stores and eateries, and the horn on Alcatraz Island to create an indelible sense of the city circa 1930. Many sites still stand, including John’s Grill on Ellis Street, a steakhouse where detective Sam Spade eats a meal near the end of the novel. Several years ago I visited John’s Grill. After I showed my Mystery Writers of America membership card and said how thrilled I was to be there, the server gave a Home of the Maltese Falcon glass to each member of our party.