Lady in the Lake

lady in the lake cover imageLady in the Lake

by Raymond Chandler
Mystery
Vintage
Paperback, 272 pages
$14.95

At 44 years of age in 1932 Raymond Chandler lost his job as an oil company executive and became a mystery writer. The Big Sleep was his first novel. Farewell, My Lovely, The Little Sister, and The Long Goodbye were among his best. He stands with Dashiell Hammett and James Cain as a founder of noir-style detective fiction. His protagonist, Philip Marlowe, is the equal of Hammett’s Sam Spade. In The Lady in the Lake, Marlowe leaves his usual Los Angeles haunts and heads into the Sierra in search of a tycoon’s estranged wife. In a twisty, complicated plot he finds her and ends up with her in the worst possible circumstances. The book was produced as an experimental film (camera as protagonist) by Robert Montgomery oddly enough using a script by one Steve Fisher rather than Chandler’s own screenplay adaptation. It didn’t do so well. But, it’s a gripping book.