It may be obvious that recently I've been reading classic mystery authors whose books I've never gotten around to reading before. I picked up The Maltese Falcon used last week, mostly because I've never seen the movie either and I wanted to read the book first.
I enjoyed the book and definitely see why it's been so popular for so long. The writing is old-fashioned and comes across as weirdly clumsy sometimes, but it's a great mystery. The surprises kept surprising me.
Sam Spade is tough and smart, and I actually really liked his secretary Effie and wished she was in the story more. The book is definitely a product of its time, though, with casual sexism and Sam smoking constantly. I also caught a few plot holes (like the disappearing daughter), but nothing major.
Now I get to watch the movie.