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Publisher's Summary

When Sam Spade gets drawn into the Maltese Falcon case, we know what to expect: straight talk, hard questions, no favors, and no way for anyone to get underneath the protective shell he wears like a second skin. We know that his late partner, Miles Archer, was a son of a bitch; that Spade is sleeping with Archer's wife, Iva; that his tomboyish secretary, Effie Perine, is the only innocent in his life. What we don't know is how Spade became who he is. Spade & Archer completes the picture.

1921: Spade sets up his own agency in San Francisco and clients quickly start coming through the door. The next seven years will see him dealing with booze runners, waterfront thugs, stowaways, banking swindlers, gold smugglers, bumbling cops, and the illegitimate daughter of Sun Yat-sen; with murder, other men's mistresses, and long-missing money. He'll bring in Archer as a partner, though it was Archer who stole his girl while he was fighting in World War I. He'll tangle with a villain who never loses his desire to make Spade pay big for ruining what should've been the perfect crime. And he'll fall in love - though it won't turn out for the best. It never does with dames.

Spade & Archer is a gritty, pitch-perfect, hard-boiled novel - the work of a master mystery writer - destined to become a classic in its own right.

©2009 Joe Gores; (P)2009 Random House

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Mark
  • sierra madre, CA, USA
  • 04-14-09

"A Real Joy"

I had low expectations when I ordered this book -- how could anyone compete with the Hammett's Maltese Falcon or with Bogart in the movie? So I was delightfully suprised that Gores does such an excellent job in capturing the spirit and atmosphere of the original. The narration was wonderful, too -- one could picture Bogie saying these lines. Probably the most enjoyable listening experience of the past 20 books I listened to.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Robert
  • San Rafael, CA, USA
  • 04-09-09

Excellent

This is a great audiobook listen. Kept me entertained for miles and miles. Gores captures the essence of Hammet's style while adding his own touch. The descriptions of the San Francisco Bay Area in the 20s are great and it is well plotted. Highly recommend.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Such a great book!

Didn't know what to expect from this when I got it, but it turned out to be a great read/listen. Truly a great prequel to The Maltese Falcon, which to me always seemed to be a book that was a sequel to a book that hadn't been written, if that makes sense. I'm sure I'll end up listening to this one many times!

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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An excellent experience

For anyone who knows and/or is a fan of Hammett's The Maltese Falcon, this book is a great treat. The author cleverly gives us a very plausible back-story to what happens in Hammett's classic; all is believable and all fits together beautifully. The reader is also first-class--Sam Spade really comes alive, as do all of the other characters as well.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Mirror Image

Truly when you finish this the absolute next sentence is the first sentence in Maltese Falcon. It expands the characters and gives a history and is on it's own a ripping yarn. I am impressed at this "prequel", in character, in time, pace and setting. Well done!

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The greatest private eye.

What made the experience of listening to Spade & Archer the most enjoyable?

My favorite mystery story is the Maltese falcon. I always wished Hammet had written more than one novel and three short stories about the Adventures of Sam Spade. Mr Gores does a good job walking in Hammets shoes, and giving us more adventures of Spade

What was one of the most memorable moments of Spade & Archer?

The bad guy getting what he deserves in the end.

What does Scott Brick bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He is a great voice talent. I also liked his work on Its Superman.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I was very upset when Spades lover was murderd.

Any additional comments?

I wish Mr Gores would write more of Spade adventures.

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ghost of dashiell or what?

Spade is certainly there, the great dialogue is there also , every once in a while, Dashiells' echo could be heard. I even got a few chills from almost hearing Bogie.....Great story in the right vein, great narration Scott....... well done all!!!! Where is the movie?????

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nice work

This book exceeded my expectations on every level. Not only an adept prequel to an old favorite, but also the beginning of a new series in its own right. Do more of these . . .

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Well-done prequel.

What made the experience of listening to Spade & Archer the most enjoyable?

I guess the idea that I knew what was coming in the future of Spade and Archer (The Maltese Falcon). Initially, I expected to be disappointed, but after a bit, I just relaxed and enjoyed it..

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Yes it did, primarily because it connected the dots of both mysteries and personalities over several years..

Have you listened to any of Scott Brick’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not. Although I felt he did a very good job, I expected Spade to have a rougher voice. Not really a complaint, just a thought.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Ohhhh, don't want to spoil anything: just Spade's tragic love.

Any additional comments?

I'm always afraid of authors trying to imitate or enhance others work. Do not fear, this is well done.

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