The book begins with an exciting chase scene: Philip Marlowe tries to catch a fly... Actually, I am kidding. The PI, not having any case to work on is so bored that he starts hunting aforementioned fly. When a girl shows up on his door he takes her case for a measly sum of $20. The girl came from Nowhere, Kansas (the actual name of the place is Manhattan - and I do not mean NYC location) and she wants to locate her brother who supposedly lives somewhere in LA. The routine investigation leads Marlowe to two dead bodies in quick succession after which even more dead bodies, mafia thugs, corrupted policemen, blackmailers, movie stars, high-profile lawyers, and other people - dead or alive try to stop Marlowe from uncovering something which is better left buried for a lot of parties.
I was always wondering why Marlowe who lives and works in Hollywood never stumbled upon its main produced goods - movies and people involved in production - movie stars and producers; bad pun is not intended. This time he finally gets on the inside of Kingdom of the Fake Glamor during the investigation.
I always said that the later books in the series are much weaker than the first ones. This is the first novel where the weakness began to develop. Marlowe became more cynical - even by his own standards, the plot is not as tight and fast-moving as before and there were several boring pages, but they were few and between. For this reason I lowered my standard 5 star rating for Philip Marlowe novel by half of the star, but the book firmly deserves the resulting rating 4.5
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/927795/this-book-shows-first-signs-of-the-series-becoming-weaker