Thirdly, The Maltese Falcon. Well, you just can't go wrong with Dashiell Hammett, can you? It's one of those books, like the novels of Edgar Wallace, that you feel you've got to read in a yellowed, dog-eared old paperback edition to get the full effect. American noire of the '30s is so powerfully evocative of its period, I always think it ought to be given to history students.
Now, where did I put my trenchcoat...?
Simon Cheshire is one of the UK's leading children's writers, and his Saxby Smart detective stories for 8-12 year-olds are among his most popular titles. You'll find more information at Simon's website www.simoncheshire.co.uk