Although I had three of the 100 page Batmans from a year earlier, I do not know if I bought those myself, or they were bought for me by my parents. With Batman 269 (Nov. 75), I have a distinct recollection of finding it on the comic book rack at the 7-11 near my house. It was the assortment of add weapons on the cover that attracted me to buy it.
The story, by David V Reed and Ernie Chan, makes the most of Chan’s detailed art, and a wide selection of strange weapons are used in the story. For three consecutive days, corpses are found, with unusual weapons sticking out of them, and each has identification naming the men as Terry Tremayne.
Batman heads to investigate the Tremayne house, and finds that the real Terry Tremayne is a woman. She tells him of a legendary Florentine Box, crafted by Cellini, which was stolen and passed through the hands of various underworld figures. Although I had no way of guessing this at 10 years old, the story is clearly derived from The Maltese Falcon.
And just as in that story, Batman winds up encountering some weird and distinctive shady figures, all of whom are after the Florentine Box.
And, similarly, in the end, the woman who turned to Batman for help was part of it all along, a killer just like the rest of them.
The final panel credits Dashiell Hammet. I couldn’t even figure out how Dashiell might be pronounced. But I loved the story.