Sometimes you just need to get back to basics. Broads, bourbon, gats and gams. And so, in quick need of a good read to keep the roll going, I jumped into this series of short stories with Chandler’s favorite private eye, Phillip Marlowe.
As usual, he has a series of cunning and crazy clients; run ins with the local cops who all like to slap him around and drink his booze and bad guys who want to know what he knows but also want him dead.
Marlowe always survives. The book is divided into for novellas. In the first, he is hired to protect a young wealthy heir from a potential gold digger. This job takes Marlowe into the world of Los Angeles gaming dens. As usual, Marlowe is completely irreverent with his employer but ultimately successful-ish.
The second novella is all about the world of crooked politics. As usual, Marlowe finds himself in a mess of trouble and running afoul of the wrong people while trying to put together the pieces so he can explain what is happening.
The third story is a great chase looking for two incredibly valuable pearls and Marlowe’s attempts to get them and make a profit on the insurance money. In this story, he travels north to Seattle, Olympia and Westport. It was nice to see Marlowe out of his element.
Finally, there is a story about a man murdered in front of Marlowe in a bar who may be an extortionist. As usual, a dame, and Marlowe’s knight complex in saving dames, comes into play and gets him overly involved in something he should have left well enough alone.
With Chandler, you know what you’re getting and it doesn’t matter how many times you read him, it just keeps getting better. This was a very good book for a compendium of novellas. Each one as good as the last. Pour me a rye and bring me a gat.