I haven't written about any of the books I've been reading lately, which is odd as I have really plowed through a good number of books this summer. One title that I really enjoyed and took me by surprise was Spade & Archer: The Prequel to Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon. This story is NOT by Dashiell Hammett, a fact that made me a bit skeptical. Will Joe Gores try to mimic Hammett's style and leave me uncomfortable? Will this "prequel" ruin the original story, or even worse, Sam Spade for me? Thankfully, this addition to the Spade history did not follow any of my fears and I had a heck of a good time reading it.
The reason this "prequel" works is because Gores does not try to imitate Hammett's style and the story is very well researched. It was written with care by a knowledgeable fan without getting carried away. All the scenerios fit in and worked with what the original creator set in stone, and while this book could stand on its own, it is a nice lead into Maltese Falcon. The story is well thought out and left me with more of an appreciation for Sam Spade. I think Hammett would approve.