Why did I love this book?
Raymond Chandler remains the King of Noir, the god of mystery writers everywhere. He's dated, you couldn't have a fast-talking, ironic P.I. like Philip Marlowe today. But he was a fabulous stylist, his books are great fun, and his descriptions of Southern California in the 1930s, with all its sunshine and sin, remain the gold standard for all of us crime writers who follow. I grew up in L.A. in a Show Business family so the setting has particular meaning for me: the American Dream gone wrong.