Trouble Is My Business

Trouble Is My Business
Raymond Chandler, 1950 (stories originally published 1934-39)

Premise: Four long short stories (not quite novellas) by the master of hard-boiled detective fiction.

Chandler and his creation Philip Marlowe are always a delight as far as I'm concerned. These stories may not be the best of the best, but they are each satisfying in turn. Marlowe gets tangled up with wealthy families with gambling debts, mysterious women, corrupt politicians, corrupt cops, and aging ex-cons.

I especially enjoyed "Goldfish," about the search for a string of valuable pearls stolen years earlier, because it was quite different in setting and characters than the others. The best one is probably the last, "Red Wind," which starts with weather and murder and spirals quickly out of control from there.

It's the tone and the style that carry you effortlessly through Chandler's work, and that talent is developing here before it comes to full flower in his brilliant novels.

4 Stars - A Very Good Book


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