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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Love that Raymond Chandler

Finished my fourth Raymond Chandler novel this month. He so clearly owns the title of the father of hard-boiled mystery writers. The plotting, character, and superb description of the setting is so well done. Nothing is irrelevant.

The dialog, the turn of a phrase all set the pace for Robert Parker, Lee Child, Sara Paretsky and all the rest of the great mystery writers of the last fifty years.

Here is just one fine little quote.

Degarmo was there by the counter talking to the desk sergeant. He turned his metallic blue eyes on me and said: "How are you doing?"


"Like our jail?"

"I like your jail fine."

"Captain Webber wants to talk to you."

"That's fine," I said.

"Don't you know any words but fine?"

"Not right now," I said. "Not in here."

"You're limping a little," he said. "You trip over something?"

"Yeah," I said. "I tripped over a blackjack. It jumped up and bit me behind the left knee."

"That's too bad," Degarmo said blank-eyed. "Get your stuff from the property clerk."

"I've got it," I said. "It wasn't taken away from me."

"Well, that's fine," he said.

"It sure is," I said. "It's fine."

---- that's Philip Marlowe in Raymond Chandler's The Lady in the Lake

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