Having read The Maltese Falcon (loved it) earlier this year, this is a great counterpart to the legend of Dashiell Hammett, Sam Spade, literary, movie, and real-life happenings related to all those topics. There is a lot of mix of fact & fiction in this book (as I found out after I was busy researching various things, such as Hammett having been jailed in the 1950s for contempt of court for proceedings relating to Communism, as he was head of a group that was labeled as a front for a Communist group. However, as he served in both world wars, he is buried in Arlington National Cemetery). Fascinating mix of story, characters, atmosphere, & a look at Hammett/Spade in the years after The Maltese Falcon. I would advise reading The Maltese Falcon first, though, to get the most out of this fabulous novella. A very nice addition to the noir/crime genre.