Today is the birthday of one of the masters of private eye fiction, Raymond Chandler, born July 23, 1888. Chandler’s poetic style brought lyricism and humanity to the genre. It’s hard for any author writing a PI character after Chandler not to be influenced by his hero, Philip Marlowe. Here are three must reads by the man.
Possibly his best balance of entertainment and depth. Marlowe is hired by an ex-con to find his long lost love. The trail puts him in the middle of a missing jade necklace and an LA high society that is just a dangerous as the criminals. Some of the best Marlowe quips are in this book.
Written after Chandler’s stint as a screenwriter, this mystery eviscerates Hollywood. It’s the Get Shorty of it’s time.
Possibly Chandler’s most realized work and the most intimate look at Marlowe. A moving look at friendship, loyalty, LA, and Chandler’s own writing. Best to read after a few other Marlowe novels.