Before the Falcon was Maltese

Mark Coggins sends word of a very intriguing new project from mystery veteran Joe Gores, who’s best known for HAMMETT, his fictionalized account of the man:

In February of last year, lightning struck. Hammett’s surviving

daughter, Jo, whom I met in 1999, was in San Francisco for a

conference, and asked to talk to me. In 2000 I had hit her with the

idea of a prequel to The Maltese Falcon. She turned me down

flat. But last February she asked me if I would be interested in

reviving the project! I was floored. But we have slowly and cautiously

ahead through hundreds of phone calls, outlines, proposals, agents,

lawyers, letters, and I finally signed the contract with

Knopf—Hammett’s publisher—a couple of weeks ago … My title is Spade & Archer and I’m revving up the research right now. I have my own research from 1975 for Hammett,

and am digging out a great deal of new stuff now. I hope to start

writing the novel in March or April … It is a really exciting project

to be working on.

Coggins remarks that “there’s no other writer [he] would trust with Sam Spade and Hammett’s literary heritage” and I have to concur with this sentiment….