I had seen the Humphrey Bogart film several times, and so was concerned about that impacting enjoyment of the book. Fortunately once I started reading it I realized that, apart from knowing that “The McGuffin” was a small statue of a bird (In an interview I once saw with Alfred Hitchcock he used the term “McGuffin” for the thing that everyone in one of his films was after; it really made no difference to the story just what the “McGuffin” was), I had no memory of the plot.
So anyway I thought it was alright. The writing wasn't that great and I thought the various characters were over drawn to the point of being caricatures. But maybe that is part of the 'hard boiled detective' genre that this novel is the archetype of. I was surprised several times, including the ending where it was revealed that it was Miss Wanderly murdered Miles Archer. So it was entertaining, but it did not make me want to read any more Hammett. I was pleased that it was so short.