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Crystal, Muriel, Mildred, Adrienne and Florence are the women displayed in Chandler s Hall of Mirrors, which begins with the simple case of a missing wife and quickly develops into four murders, plus a Dr Feelgood who feeds his patients drugs and corrupt cops in Bay City, or Santa Monica, Ca., that Chandler knew all too well I think he invented the cliche of a coshed character who wakes up with a dead body in the same room Here it s a stiff femme fatale on the bed and she s only wearing nylons a saucy image for the author in 1943 when nylons were scarce , but it produces visual piquancy The minutes went by on tiptoe, Ray avers, with their fingers to their lips I understand what s going on well, up to a point but I couldnt deliver a synopsis that makes sense and it doesnt really matter The murders have a connective twist and are memorable, like the Adam s apple that edged through his wing collar and looked harder than most people s chins Please remember that when Howard Hawks filmed The Big Sleep, he and his writers had no idea who killed a chauffeur found in a car off Lido pier Hawks sent Ray a telegram asking whodunit Ray went through his novel, reflected for some hours, and wired back,I don t knowRay and Hawks and readers agree the plot doesnt have to make senseif it s fun. How modern can you get Plot is just a way of telling a story Lauded by Brit toffs Edith Sitwell and Cyril Connolly, among others, Chandler knew that overseas he was considered an Author while in the US he was merely a mystery writer His language and sentence structure, uniquely his own, have an hypnotic effect on the nervous system there s a rhythmic tension Chandler aimed for an emotional quality It s not the plot, he argued, it s the richness of texture And The most durable thing in writing is style Style is a projection of personality and you have to have a personality before you can project it My kind of writing demands a certain amount of dash and high spirits the word is gusto, a quality lacking in modern writing He wasn t interested in adapting his novels for the screen He did write one original screenplay, The Blue Dahlia, but his ending was censored The killer could not be a serviceman So he became the apartment house dick Yet the noir was a hit He was pleased Good original screenplays are almost as rare in Hollywood as virgins, he said. Raymond Chandler s fourth novel to feature Los Angeles P.I Philip Marlowe involves two missing wives One is the independently wealthy spouse of Derace Kingsley, an executive in a large firm His wife, Crystal, who disappeared a month ago after sending him a telegram from Texas announcing that she was divorcing him and marrying her boyfriend, Chris Lavery, who has a reputation as a Don Juan Kingsley isn t particularly concerned about that He doesn t really love his wife he knows that she plays around, and he also knows that Lavery is one of her conquests But then he happens to run into Lavery who tells him that he hasn t seen Crystal in a month and certainly didn t run off to Texas or anywhere else with her Now worried, Kingsley hires Marlowe to find her.Inevitably, of course, this will lead Marlowe into a complex series of events that s hugely convoluted, even for a Raymond Chandler novel Several people will be murdered some will be blackmailed Almost everybody will lie to Marlowe, making his job evendifficult, and corrupt cops will keep beating him up and threatening to frame him for all sorts of crimes But, as always, Marlowe will soldier on, irrespective of the odds, determined to root out the truth, even though he really doesn t like his client or virtually anyone else with whom he will come into contact on this case It s his job, damnit, and he s going to do it the best he can.As with practically any novel by Raymond Chandler, the plot is almost impossible to follow, but then nobody reads Chandler for his plots Like the best of his books, this one is beautifully written in the spare, lean tone that set the early standard for hard boiled crime novels This is not my favorite of Chandler s novels by any means, but it s still a very good read. #DOWNLOAD KINDLE ô The Lady in the Lake ½ 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 5 Stars WOW A masterpiece The very best Marlowe of all Great pacing, wonderful progression of events and clues, just enough snappy dialogue, delicious detective as philosopher quotations, genuine tension and suspense, a sprinkling of red herrings This is the whole enchilada Awesome I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it There was getting to be plenty of grey in it The face under the hair had a sick look I didn t like the face at all I went back to the desk I sat very still and listened to the evening grow quiet outside the open windows And very slowly I grew quiet with it.Full size image here, cover by Tom AdamsI particularly enjoy how the clues fit together slowly, progressively throughout You can see the connections, or think you can winks and by the end, it s mostly all there for you I correctly pieced together 4 5 aspects of the plot, but MISSED the very clever big twist Awesome It was a 38 Smith and Wesson on a 44 frame, a wicked weapon with a kick like a 45 and a much greater effective range. I drove on through the piled masses of granite and down through the meadows of coarse grass where cows grazed The same gaudy slacks and short shorts and peasant handkerchiefs as yesterday, the same light breeze and golden sun and clear blue sky, the same smell of pine needles, the same cool softness of a mountain summer But yesterday was a hundred years ago, something crystallized in time, like a fly in amber. Notes and Quotes The upper part of his face meant business The lower part was just saying good bye.12.0% it s amazing how modern much of the slang is here Soap opera, beef, hunk, etc 22.0% Behind the right hand lower corner of the windshield there was a white card printed in block capitals It read VOTERS, ATTENTION KEEP JIM PATTON CONSTABLE HE IS TOO OLD TO GO TO WORK 25.0% She put a firm brown hand out and I shook it Clamping bobbie pins into fat blondes had given her a grip like a pair of iceman s tongs.30% The thing rolled over onceand an arm flapped up barely above the skin of the water and the arm ended in a bloated hand that was the hand of a freak Then the face came A swollen pulpy gray white mass without features, without eyes, without mouth A blotch of gray dough, a nightmare with human hair on it.A heavy necklace of green stone showed on what had been a neck, half imbedded, large rough green stones with something that glittered joining them together.Bill Chess held the handrail and his knuckles were polished bones Muriel his voice said croakingly Sweet Christ, it s Muriel His voice seemed to come to me from a long way off, over a hill, through a thick silent growth of trees. 49.0% very good pacing and prose here A nice rhythm even during the description of rooms, people and clothing The snappy dialogue is well balanced It s the best Marlowe so far imho 59.0% quintessential Chandler I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it There was getting to be plenty of grey in it The face under the hair had a sick look I didn t like the face at all I went back to the desk I sat very still and listened to the evening grow quiet outside the open windows And very slowly I grew quiet with it. 63.0% this is the kind of detective story I enjoy the most, where the clues come in and slowly fit together, piece by piece throughout the book, building the big picture There is an info dump at the end, but it s well presented 72.0% this is fabulously good stuff.. The Lady in the Lake Philip Marlowe, 4 , Raymond Chandler The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring, as do all his major works, the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe Notable for its removal of Marlowe from his usual Los Angeles environs for much of the book, the novel s complicated plot initially deals with the case of a missing woman in a small mountain town some 80 miles 130 km from the city The book was written shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor and makes several references to America s recent involvement in World War II 2001 1378 280 9645625653 1389 9789645625656 4 20 . A rich man hires Phillip Marlowe to find his wife The trail leads to a resort town and another dead woman Where is Crystal Kingsley And who killed Muriel Chess And what did Chris Lavery or Dr Al have to do with it The Lady in the Lake is a tale of lies, double crosses, cheating woman, murder, and a shop soiled Galahad named Phillip Marlowe caught in the middle of it Chander and Marlowe set the standards for slick talking detectives for generations to come and Marlowe is in fine form in this outing, following the serpentine twists of the plot as best he can Chandler s similes are in fine form, as is Marlowe s banter.Since Raymond Chandler is my favorite of the noir pioneers, I feel guilty for saying this but this thing is so convoluted I stopped caring about the plot about a third of the way in and just stuck around for the Scotch smooth prose Seriously, this has to be the most convoluted plot from the master of overly convoluted plots I had an idea of the connection between the two women but it took forever for everything to come together Marlowe couldn t be blamed for not cracking the case early on since it read like Raymond Chandler was making it up as he went in between weekend long benders.To sum it up, the prose is up to par but the plot is a meandering mess It s barely a 3 and my least favorite Chandler book I ve read so far. The Chandler mechanics is well oiled a rich client calls on Marlowe s services and the detective becomes aware from the start of the investigation that he has set foot in a nest of vipers He s going to have to deal with corrupt policemen and determined gangsters And he s going to get his head full, once again And he s going to get his head full, once again But our private has tough skin and is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Crystal, the wife of Derace Kingsley.The survey will be conducted partly in Bay City the villain on the Pacific coast but also in the forest of San Bernardino where Kingsley owns a cottage located by a lake It is in this lake that the companion of the guardian will resurface after a stay of one month in the depths The first elements seem to overwhelm the guard, a mutilated alcoholic war, but it is without counting on the sagacity of Philip Marlowe who will seek to disentangle the true from the false The story takes place in the middle of the Second World War rubber is rationed, dams are protected by the Army and at night, Californian cities are subjected to blackout The Lady of the Lake is Chandler s fourth novel, and if there are many redundancies in the plot, they do not tire the reader The novel is always pleasant to read and strongly advised lovers of polars A classic that did not take dust. A rich man asked Philip Marlowe to find his missing wife who presumably ran away to Mexico to get a divorce, but disappeared since then The search quickly led the private detective to a dead body of another woman with seemingly no connection to the first one, except for them being neighbors The number of dead bodies rapidly increases as Marlowe tries to get to the bottom of a very complicated mystery while dodging cold blooded killers, corrupted cops the level of corruption in Bay City seems to make that of Chicago during the Prohibition look pale and insignificant in comparison , or just people who like nothingin their lives than to knock Marlowe out just for the fun of it.I mentioned the complicated plot This one would make Agatha Christie the undisputed Queen of Complicated Mystery Plots extremely envious During my reading I had to stop several times just to make sure I have a clear picture of what is going on as clear as Marlowe at the moment has I really do not need to mention the quality of writing from the acknowledged Master of the genre, but I want to mention characterization Raymond Chandler is really good at creating memorable characters with minimum amount of space the best example of this would be Sheriff Patton who isor less friendly towards Marlowe for a change unlike the majority of policeman in the series.Onefact need to be mentioned as time went by Raymond Chandler becamedisillusioned in his outlooks on life his battle with alcohol addiction did not help either As a result the latter books of the series are somewhat weaker than the first ones This is probably the last book which fully deserves 5 solid stars The recommendation for the book is just as usual if you have even a passing interest in noir mysteries, this is THE series to read, but beware that the number of writers of the genre who approached this level of quality can be counted with fingers on one hand with some left to spare you might spoil the genre for yourself if you start with Philip Marlowe cases This review is a copy paste of my BookLikes one Raindrops on strippers and crisp apple gunshotsBright copper floozies and warm woolly whatnots, Muscular gentlemen tied up with stringsThese are a few of my favorite thingsGirls in bikinis with breathtaking lipstickSlayed belles on gurneys as fast talking dicks quipSilverwhite cocaine and fabulous blingThese are a few of my favourite thingFinding those corpses with wide ugly gashesAnd no nose at all and not many eyelashesAnd Chandler and Marlowe and slightly left wingsThese are a few of my favourite things I have decided to take a break from my usual obsession with history to take a deep plunge into several of the classic noir detective novels by Raymond Chandler, James M Cain and Dashiell Hammett A few of these will be re reads Why noir America is even divided between two fanatical ideologies so I guess the noir genre suits my cynical nature as an outcast, literary hermit who despises the hypocritical dishonesty and corruption of both political franchises as well as the obedient myrmidons in the media who defend them against the other side without seeing that they are both evil and despicable in and by themselves Another key ingredient to the noir formula is the hard bitten, cynical private eye working against both the criminal element as well as the corrupt cops I don t know many criminals besides a few upper level, corporate fruit flies who will never be brought to justice, but I live in Las Vegas where the police force has worked overtime to tarnish its own image to the best of its ability In coffee shops around town, I have been completely unsuccessful in trying to engage any one of these morons in an intelligent conversation It is beyond their meager abilities It creeps me out that these antisocial goons carry both a badge and a gun That is another reason I am going noir No one suits this noir streak better than Raymond Chandler s sarcastic, hard drinking, private dick Philip Marlowe In The Lady in the Lake, Marlowe is hired by a perfume company exec to find his estranged wife who had disappeared from their summer home, sending him a very nice dear John letter saying that she was running off to Mexico with another man That came as no big surprise, but later he runs into his wife e lover who claims they never ran off together so where did she go The wife had some bad habits and the husband isconcerned about some embarrassing publicity that might cost him his cushy job rather than about the missing lady s well being No hard feelings, Dear With Marlowe as our wise cracking guide, interpreter and body guard, Chandler leads us on a twisting, turning roller coaster ride through a 1940 s lookingglass from Hollywood to the lake in the mountains where we stumble upon a lady s body, back down again and then back up to the lake again where, much to our chagrin, we meet both the missing lady and her killer This is the first time I have read The Lady in the Lake It is a 222 page, page burner that you will not want to put down without a good fight Whether you are flying transatlantic, across America or taking a meandering, overnight train ride through Europe, may I recommend this novel as an antidote to your temporary captivity As a warm up to get you into the proper 1940 s mood for this novel, may I also suggest that you go to YouTube and pull up the 3 minute, 1947 trailer to the movie.