THE LADY IN THE LAKEby RAYMOND CHANDLER
"The detective story, even in its most conventional form, is difficult to write well." -- Raymond Chandler, The Simple Art of MurderFirst published in 1943, The Lady in the Lake finds Chandler’s hard-nosed detective Phillip Marlowe investigating the disappearance of a doctor’s wife, and as with all of the private dick’s cases the mystery gets more tangled and complex with every turn of the page. Set partially in “Bay City,” Chandler’s stand-in for Santa Monica, The Lady in the Lake is unusual for the author in that it also takes Marlowe outside of his standard beat of Los Angeles.
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Born in Chicago, IL in 1888, Raymond Chandler moved to Los Angeles in 1913 and made that city his home for much of the rest of his life. A bookkeeper and oil industry man by trade, Chandler was also a fan of pulp magazine stories. He taught himself how to write by deconstructing Erle Stanley Gardner’s formula for writing Perry Mason stories. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939, when Chandler was 51 years old. He followed The Big Sleep with many more short stories and six full-length novels, including the classics Farewell, My Lovely, The Lady in the Lake and The Long Goodbye. He also worked in screen and television writing, penning or co-writing such films as Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train and the Oscar-nominated Double Indemnity. Chandler died in 1959 in La Jolla, CA.