"The Maltese Falcon is considered Dashiell Hammett's finest novel. the story introduces detective Sam Spade, a man of few words who displays little emotion. Hired by a woman--Miss Wonderly--to locate her sister, Spade gives the assignment to his partner Miles Archer. Archer tails the missing sister's companion, and within a single evening both Archer and the man have been shot dead. As Spade pursues the mystery of his partner's death, he is drawn into a circle of colorful characters: Miss Wonderly, who lies prettily and pathologically about everything a fat, well-dressed man named Gutman; a jumpy man named Cairo; and an extremely stupid, impulsive gunman. All of them are in competition to find the legendary, jewel-encrusted Maltese Falcon, hidden for many centuries. As they get closer and closer to the statue, Spade gets closer and closer to identifying the person who murdered his partner.