1. I chose "Mulholland Drive" because it was set in California like The Maltese Falcon. The short story really did not allow for much character development. I know the detective did what he did because he wanted money and that he had done it before. I know he also recorded his conversation with the wife because he wanted to use it against her later when he needed more money. I did not learn much about the wife, the dead man or any of the other characters. The plot for the short story was very simple, an accident committed by the detective and then another accident with the detective as the victim. The plot for the novel started with a murder of one of the detectives and the partner trying to solve it because he was one of the suspects. As the story unfolds, we see that Sam is a chauvinist, as are most men of his time, and basically a good guy. There are times in the story when he could have taken the money and gone over to the dark side but never does and stays true to himself.
2. The author of "Mulholland Drive" is a man like Dashiell Hammett. The men in both stories have the women being the main villain or instigator of the crime. The wife in the short story wanted her husband dead because the prenup would not allow her all the money, but death would and in The Maltese Falcon the dame was the one who killed Sam Spade's partner. Her action of killing Miles was to get protection from her own partner. The men from both stories don't show much respect for the women whether that is because they are women or because they are criminals, I don't know.
3. I really did not like many of the aspects of the short story. What I did not like about "Mulholland Drive" is that it used terms with which I was unfamiliar. The author tried to explain what the traffic re-constructionist was doing but it was very technical. I am a visual person and the explanation did not paint a picture in my mind. To say the least it was a little confusing. In addition, the detective is the one who sets up the accident. How clever that he is the one called to reconstruct the scene when he is the one who caused it. The story ends without everything being explained. Does the recorder make it to the police and they find out the wife was involved along with the detective or does she live happily ever after, and does the man save the detective or does he die? Needless to say I was unsatisfied with the ending. The good surprise or irony is that his own accident occurred just the way he said the other accident happened. I did like that twist.
4. While reading The Maltese Falcon I could picture the characters in old black and white movies. If the characters were based on the culture of the times then we can see that smoking in public and drinking was common. Also, the chauvinistic and condescending attitudes of the males in the story is probably an indication of how women were treated at the time. They should be pretty and cooperative. I don't know how much of the character's attitudes are based on the times but I would guess a fair amount. I would not appreciate being treated the way the women in this novel were treated.
5. I think that one thing that I noticed about "Mulholland Drive" was that it did not follow the code of writing mysteries. In "Top 10 Rules for Mystery Writing" number eight says "The detective should not commit the crime." I do believe that with so much uncertainty in life we should be able to count on the detective to be honorable. I know real life is not like that but in my stories and novels I want the hero to be the hero and not also the villain.