Raymond Chandler

Easton Press Raymond Chandler books

3 volume set  - 2003 - including titles:
The Big Sleep
Farewell, My Lovely
The Long Goodbye

Franklin Library Raymond Chandler books

Farewell, My Lovely - Library of Mystery Masterpieces - 1988


Author Raymond Chandler

Raymond Chandler, born on July 23, 1888, in Chicago, Illinois, was an American novelist and screenwriter, best known for his contributions to the hardboiled detective fiction genre. His iconic creation, the private detective Philip Marlowe, became synonymous with the tough, wisecracking, and morally ambiguous investigator. Chandler's early life was marked by various challenges. His parents separated when he was young, and he grew up in Chicago and London, receiving his education at Dulwich College. After spending time in the British Civil Service, he moved to the United States in 1912 and held various jobs, including working in the oil industry.

Chandler's foray into writing came later in life. During the Great Depression, he turned to pulp fiction, writing stories for pulp magazines. His breakthrough came with the publication of his first novel, The Big Sleep," in 1939. The novel introduced the character Philip Marlowe, a complex and cynical private detective navigating the seedy underbelly of Los Angeles. Chandler's writing style was distinctive, characterized by its sharp dialogue, intricate plots, and a keen eye for the dark and gritty aspects of urban life. He brought a literary quality to the detective genre, elevating it beyond mere pulp fiction. His other notable works include Farewell, My Lovely, The Long Goodbye, and The Lady in the Lake.

In addition to his novels, Chandler made significant contributions to the world of film. He worked as a screenwriter, adapting his own novels and collaborating on projects like Double Indemnity (1944) and Strangers on a Train (1951). His impact on film noir is still celebrated today. Despite his success, Chandler faced personal struggles, including issues with alcoholism and the death of his wife, Cissy. He continued to write and published several novels, short stories, and essays. His later works, such as Playback (1958) and Poodle Springs (1989, completed posthumously by Robert B. Parker), maintained his distinct narrative style.

Raymond Chandler passed away on March 26, 1959, in La Jolla, California. Despite a relatively short literary career, his influence on crime fiction and detective novels endured, leaving an indelible mark on the genre. Chandler's legacy as a master of hardboiled detective fiction remains, with his works continuing to captivate readers and inspire generations of writers.


The Big Sleep - Philip Marlowe Series Book 1

Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid.... He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man.

This is the Code of the Private Eye as defined by Raymond Chandler in his 1944 essay The Simple Act of Murder. Such a man was Philip Marlowe, private eye, an educated, heroic, streetwise, rugged individualist and the hero of Chandler's first novel, The Big Sleep. This work established Chandler as the master of the 'hard-boiled' detective novel, and his articulate and literary style of writing won him a large audience, which ranged from the man in the street to the most sophisticated intellectual.

Farewell, My Lovely - Philip Marlowe Series Book 2

Marlowe's about to give up on a completely routine case when he finds himself in the wrong place at the right time to get caught up in a murder that leads to a ring of jewel thieves, another murder, a fortune-teller, a couple more murders, and more corruption than your average graveyard.

The Long Goodbye - Philip Marlowe Series Book 6

Down-and-out drunk Terry Lennox has a problem: his millionaire wife is dead and he needs to get out of LA fast. So he turns to the only friend he can trust: private investigator Philip Marlowe. Marlowe is willing to help a man down on his luck, but later Lennox commits suicide in Mexico and things start to turn nasty. Marlowe is drawn into a sordid crowd of adulterers and alcoholics in LA's Idle Valley, where the rich are suffering one big suntanned hangover. Marlowe is sure Lennox didn't kill his wife, but how many stiffs will turn up before he gets to the truth?

Other Philip Marlowe Series Books include:

The High Window - Book 3

Toby Stephens stars in this BBC Radio 4 full-cast dramatisation of Raymond Chandler’s third Philip Marlowe mystery.

Fast-talking, trouble-seeking private eye Philip Marlowe is a different kind of detective: a moral man in an amoral world. California in the ’40s and ’50s is as beautiful as a ripe fruit and rotten to the core, and Marlowe must struggle to retain his integrity amidst the corruption he encounters daily.

In The High Window, Marlowe starts out on the trail of a single stolen coin and ends up knee-deep in bodies. His client, a dried-up husk of a woman, wants him to recover a rare gold coin called a Brasher Doubloon, missing from her late husband’s collection. That’s the simple part.

But Marlowe finds that everyone who handles the coin suffers a run of very bad luck: they always end up dead. If Marlowe doesn’t wrap this one up fast, he’s going to end up in jail - or worse, in a box in the ground.

Starring Toby Stephens, this thrilling dramatisation by Robin Brooks retains all the wry humour of Chandler’s serpentine suspense novel. It was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 on 8 October 2011.

The Lady in the Lake - Book 4

A couple of missing wives one a rich man's and one a poor man's become the objects of Marlowe's investigation. One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care.

The Little Sister - Book 5

Raymond Chandler's fifth novel has Philip Marlowe going to Hollywood as he explores the underworld of the glitter capital, trying to find a sweet young thing's missing brother. Along the way he uncovers a little blackmail, a lot of drugs, and more than enough murder.

Playback - Book 7

As 'Playback', Chandler's last novel opens, Philip Marlowe meets Eleanor King (a.k.a. Betty Mayfield), a well-endowed redhead as she disembarks from the Super Chief and leads him to the California coast to solve a tale of big money and, of course, murder.

Trouble Is My Business - Book 8

In the four long stories in this collection, Marlowe is hired to protect a rich old guy from a gold digger, runs afoul of crooked politicos, gets a line on some stolen jewels with a reward attached, and stumbles across a murder victim who may have been an extortionist.

The four stories include:
Trouble is my business
Finger man
Red wind


The Red Wind

The Red Wind is not a novel but rather a short story written by Raymond Chandler. It was first published in 1938 and is one of Chandler's early works featuring his iconic private detective, Philip Marlowe. The story is known for its sharp dialogue, atmospheric setting, and the intricate plotting that became characteristic of Chandler's writing. In The Red Wind, Philip Marlowe finds himself entangled in a web of intrigue and murder in the city of Los Angeles. The narrative unfolds as Marlowe encounters a mysterious woman who seeks his help in finding a man named Crystal Kingsby. As the detective delves into the case, he becomes ensnared in a complex plot involving blackmail, deception, and, of course, the classic hardboiled elements that Chandler is renowned for.

The title The Red Wind refers to a hot and dry wind that blows through the Los Angeles area during certain weather conditions, creating a tense and atmospheric backdrop for the story. Chandler skillfully weaves this environmental element into the narrative, contributing to the overall mood of the piece. The Red Wind is appreciated not only for its contribution to the detective fiction genre but also for its role in establishing Chandler as a master of the hardboiled style. The story showcases his ability to craft compelling characters, intricate plots, and a distinctive narrative voice that would define his later and more extensive works.

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