Chandler is the master
There is something transporting about this book. The relentless rain. The over-the-top blondes. The hats always have some angle, whether they're cocked on top of a fashionable fairy or parked on a telephone receiver.
"If the mystery novel is at all realistic (which it very seldom is) it is written in a certain spirit of detachment; otherwise nobody but a psychopath would want to write it or read it," Chandler wrote in his essay "The Simple Art of Murder". "The murder novel has also a depressing way of minding its own business, solving its own problems and answering its own questions." (Hence the rain, maybe. It keeps the head down, the shoulders hunched, the collar up.) Okay, good to know, but more importantly, The Big Sleep corrected my mistaken belief that the detective/murder/mystery novel is all about plot. It isn't. Not when it's done right.
Originally posted on Amazon.com as Joni L. Rodgers