The Falcon’s Malteser

The Falcon's Malteser

For over thirty years, Anthony Horowitz has enjoyed a highly successful career as a children’s author. Working across a number of genres, he has created such well-loved series as the Alex Rider novels, Groosham Grange and The Power of Five. However, for the purpose of today’s review we’re going to be looking at one of his earliest novels, featuring the first case of Tim Diamond.

The Falcon’s Malteser was originally published in 1986 but has been released many times since then. It is the first novel of the Diamond Brothers series and was subsequently followed by Public Enemy Number Two (1987), South By South East (1991), Three of Diamonds (2004) (which collected the stories The Blurred Man, The French Confection and I Know What You Did Last Wednesday) and The Greek Who Stole Christmas (2008). The title of the novel is a spoof of The Maltese Falcon, the famous 1929 detective novel by Dashiell Hammett.

The novel is a comic mystery story that focuses on the Tim Diamond (real name: Herbert Timothy Simple), a somewhat inept young man who is determined to make his name as a private detective, despite the fact that he has no money and lives with his thirteen year old brother (Nick) in small flat above a supermarket in West London.

As Nick wonders how they will survive on their last £2.37, a man by the name of Johnny Naples turns up on their doorstep asking to hire them. He wants them to keep a parcel safe for him until he returns to collect it and offers to pay them handsomely for their trouble. Overjoyed by their sudden windfall, the two boys head out to celebrate but return later that day to find that their office has been ransacked. Someone evidently wants the parcel badly, but when the Diamond Brothers open it they find that it only contains a box of maltesers.

Confused, the brothers head out to find their client but arrive at his hotel moments before he is shot dead. It quickly transpires that a criminal known as the Falcon has recently passed away and Johnny Naples could very well have been the only person to know where he had hidden his vast fortune of diamonds. Realising that the maltesers must somehow be the key to this treasure, Nick and Tim enter into a race against to clock to recover the diamonds before another gangster can discover them and take over the Falcon’s mantel as a new international crime lord.


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