Classic gum shoe 'whodunit' murder mystery. I definitely didn't guess this one, so the plot was fine. But, both the good guys and the bad guys in this book are pretty seedy who gamble, go to bars and drink all day. I don't mind a mystery with dark flawed characters, but there is very little background on any of the characters, so everyone comes across and self centered and slightly hedonistic. Hammett's mysteries started a whole new genre of books and movies, definitely making an impact - just not my type of book.