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When Humphrey Bogart fought Sidney Greenstreet for the statue, the statue in question was "The Maltese Falcon." While I'm not particularly conversant with Dashiell Hammett, I can tell you, as a resident of San Francisco these last three decades plus, that Miles Archer (Bogie's partner in P.I.) was done in by Brigid O'Shaughnessy in San Francisco in an alley (suitably marked with a plaque stating "On this site Miles Archer was done in by B. O'S" or somesuch) above the Stockton Street tunnel. There's a restaurant called "John's Grill" which features Dashiell Hammett memorabilia and references, including a statuette of black something in the form of a falcon which the restaurant owner paid a few bucks for and garnered a lot of press. One of the menu items is a thick pork-chop and baked potato dish (which is juicy, indeed) described in "Maltese Falcon," I believe. Hammett worked as a P.I. (private investigator, or private eye) for the Burns Detective Agency in San Fran in the '20s. He sites his detective story here, and, after A. Conan Doyle, who is credited with inventing the genre (with Sherlock Holmes), is credited with damn-near-perfecting the hard-boiled detective and brainless, ruthless cop murder mystery. How he got mixed up with Lillian Hellman is beyond me and another story which I haven't bothered to read.
Just thought I'd throw this in while we're enjoying James Michener, courtesy of the Corsair, who is to be encouraged. -rs



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