The only complete collection of shorter fiction by the undisputed master of detective literature, assembled here for the first time in one volume, includes stories unavailable for decades. When Raymond Chandler turned to writing at the age of forty-five, he began by publishing in pulp magazines such as Black Mask before later writing his famous novels. In these stories Chandler honed his art and developed his uniquely vivid underworld, peopled with good cops and bad cops, informers and extortionists, lethally predatory blondes and redheads, and crime, sex, gambling and alcohol in abundance.
In addition to his classic detective fiction – in which his signature atmosphere of depravity and violence swirls around cool, intuitive loners such as Philip Marlowe – Chandler turned his hand to fantasy and even a Gothic romance. This rich treasury of twenty-five stories shows him developing the laconic, understated style that would serve him so well in his later masterpieces, immersing readers in the richly realized fictional universe that has become a part of our literary landscape.
Everyman’s Library, 2002