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Trouble is My Business

Trouble is My Business - Raymond Chandler This is a collection of four short stories featuring Philip Marlowe, the cynical drinking PI.

Trouble is my business. A rich man hires Marlowe to keep his good-for-nothing son from getting married to a woman whose sole interest in him is his money. This happens to be the first appearance of famous PI who is slightly rough around the edges and really likes the say the title phrase. Several dead bodies, corrupt policemen, organized crime bossed and their thugs keep things from getting slowing down.

Finger man. Marlowe is the only witness to a murder committed by a henchman of a high-ranked politician; we all know such witnesses develop terminal illnesses really fast. Marlowe not only needs to stay alive, but also to protect a client who tries to cheat a mafia boss out of his money; the life expectancy of such people is even less than that of inconvenient witnesses.

Goldfish. An old case of stolen pearls which were never recovered suddenly make comeback with Marlowe being initially very skeptical about the whole deal, but the first dead body convinced him to follow the lead. This is probably the only Philip Marlowe story with a decent pay off (I mean monetary reward) at the end.

Red Wind. Trouble follows Marlowe even when he sits in an empty bar drinking and minding his own business. A man who was looking for a woman gets killed right in front of his eyes and now he once again needs to stay alive long enough to find the woman the dead man described in hope of getting some answers. I read this story several times, and it never failed to make me depressed and sad; it is depressing and sad, even by Raymond Chandler's standards. It also happened to be very good.

Raymond Chandler wrote a foreword for this collection. He mentioned that he created these stories for publishing in crime journals, most notably in "Black Mask". As such, there were certain constraints he had to write them within - both in terms of plot development and style. He could rewrite them after he hit big as a writer, but it turned out to be impossible without completely destroying them. My opinion on this is that a real talent always shows even when the author does not have a complete freedom in writing. As such the collection deserves 4.5 stars with only 0.5 short of a perfect score. This is a must read for Philip Marlowe fans.

This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/930245/a-collection-of-four-short-stories-featuring-philip-marlowe