Raymond Chandler

I went upstairs again and sat in my chair thinking about Harry Jones and his story. It seemed a little too pat. It had the austere simplicity of fiction rather than the tangled woof of fact.
-Raymond Chandler,The Big Sleep

During the 1930's and 40's Raymond Chandler was, along with Cornell Woolrich, James M. Cain, and Dashiell Hammett, one of the creators of the roman noir genre. Chandler was born in Chicago on July 23 1888. He was educated in England, and first came to write detective stories in 1932. Blackmailers Don't Shoot, which took five months to write, was published by Black Mask, the leading crime pulp of its time. Writing proved lucrative, and was something Chandler enjoyed, so he continued. His first novel appeared in 1939 (The Big Sleep), and he turned to screenwriting in 1943. This, unfortunately, was to prove considerably more difficult than fiction. In 1954 Cissy, Chandler's wife of 30 years, passed away, after a lengthy illness. Chandler plunged more deeply than ever into drink, still managing to produce some of the English language's greatest crime fiction. In 1958, on a suggestion from British espionage author Ian Fleming, he traveled to Capri to interview deported mafioso 'Lucky' Luciano for the London Sunday Times. This interview was never published, however, for legal reasons. During the last year of his life Chandler was president of the Mystery Writers of America. He died from pneumonia brought on by a particularly heavy drinking binge on March 23, 1959. (Biography excerpted from the Raymond Chandler Web Page by David Mock.)

See also Chapter 1 of a new Chandler Biography.

Novels with Philip Marlowe

Short stories



Chandler Bibliography from RARA-AVIS

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