Raymond Chandler was America’s preeminent writer of detective fiction, and this edition of The Big Sleep and Other Novels collects three of the best novels to feature his hard-drinking, philosophising PI, Philip Marlowe. Raymond Chandler created the fast talking, trouble seeking Californian private eye Philip Marlowe for his first great novel The Big Sleep in 1939. Often imitated but never bettered, it is in Marlowe’s long shadow that every fictional detective must stand – and under the influence of Raymond Chandler’s addictive prose that every crime author must write.
Marlowe’s entanglement with the Sternwood family – and an attendant cast of colourful underworld figures – is the background to a story reflecting all the tarnished glitter of the great American Dream. The hard-boiled detective’s iconic image burns just as brightly in Farewell, My Lovely, on the trail of a missing nightclub crooner. And the inimitable Marlowe is able to prove that trouble really is his business in Raymond Chandler’s brilliant epitaph, The Long Good-bye.
Penguin Books, 2000 (1939, 1940, 1953)