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by Hammett, Dashiell

  • Used
  • hardcover
  • First
A square, tight, clean, very good copy. A very presentable copy. No dust jacket. (#151300) (16849)
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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Laurel, Maryland
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About This Item

New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930. First edition, first printing. A square, tight, clean, very good copy. A very presentable copy. No dust jacket. (#151300) (16849). Octavo, pp. [1-12] [1-2] 3-267 [268: colophon] [269-272: blank] [note: first two and last two leaves are blanks], title page printed in blue-gray and black, decorated light gray cloth, front and spine panels stamped in blue-gray and black, running Borzoi stamped in black on rear panel, top edge stained light blue-gray, other edges rough trimmed. The first Sam Spade book. A Haycraft-Queen "cornerstone." Keating, Crime & Mystery: The 100 Best Books 16. Pronzini and Muller, 1001 Midnights, pp. 336-8. Layman A.3.1.a.


The Maltese Falcon , author Dashiell Hammett’s third novel, set the standard by which all subsequent detective fiction would be judged. Set in San Francisco in the late 1920s, the novel introduces us to private detective Sam Spade, who characterizes the archetype of the hard-boiled detective in his dead-pan pursuit of the recovery of a black figurine. Having worked for a time for the Pinkerton Detective Agency in San Francisco, Hammett reportedly drew upon his years as a detective in creating Spade and many of the other characters for The Maltese Falcon . The Maltese Falcon was originally serialized in HL Mencken’s “pulp” magazine, Black Mask, beginning with the September 1929 issue. For publication of the book form, editor Blanche Knopf tried to tone down the overt sexuality of the magazine version, fearing the references would alienate readers, but Hammett prevailed. However, the 1941 film adaptation starring Humphrey Bogart and Mary Astor (the best known of the novel’s three film versions) excised the homosexual subtext of the novel due to Production Code restraints. Today, the movie is considered a film noir classic and the novel is ranked 56th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century as well as 54th on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best novels. -

Read More: Identifying first editions of THE MALTESE FALCON


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John W. Knott, Jr., Bookseller, ABAA/ILAB US (US)
Bookseller’s Inventory #
Hammett, Dashiell
Book condition
Used - A square, tight, clean, very good copy. A very presentable copy. No dust jacket. (#151300) (16849)
Quantity available
First edition, first printing
Alfred A. Knopf
Place of Publication
New York
Date Published
Mystery . Film source

Terms of Sale

John W. Knott, Jr., Bookseller, ABAA/ILAB

30 day return guarantee, with full refund including original shipping costs for up to 30 days after delivery if an item arrives mis-described or damaged.

About the Seller

John W. Knott, Jr., Bookseller, ABAA/ILAB

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers. member since 2017
Laurel, Maryland
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About John W. Knott, Jr., Bookseller, ABAA/ILAB

John W. Knott, Jr., BooksellerABAA/ILABFine First Editions


Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:

The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf.... [More]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched... [More]
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing... [More]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in... [More]
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet... [More]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps... [More]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a... [More]
title page
A page at the front of a book which may contain the title of the book, any subtitles, the authors, contributors, editors, the... [More]
Used to mean that the binding of a book has not been overly loosened by frequent use.

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