The guy's a genius. Not only does he construct an intricate plot, he couches the story in language that is not only sharp and witty, but grammatical. He has references to T. S. Eliot and Shakespeare and his hero Philip Marlowe plays chess. Above all, it is informed by ethics- Marlowe doesn't money unless he has earned it, he doesn't spilt on his friends and he doesn't take advantage of women. Sounds a little Like Mister Rainbow. All right, it's a little old fashioned. yet the great writing - and the mind that informs it keeps alive, 60 something years after it was published. Set in Hollywood, the story starts with a drunk hanging out of a Rolls Royce. Marlowe does the right thing by the drunk and the story goes from there. There are lines like: "He was as calm as an adobe wall in the moonlight", "A different thing, being a cop. You never know whose stomach it's safe to jump up and down on," and ' She had an iron smile and eyes that could count money in your hip wallet." All right it's crass, ugly, violent post-war detective work. But it floats on wings of a dove. No smile is clichéd, no phrase hackneyed, so much of it is a delightful experience. Read Chandler and learn how to write. he even gives lessons:- says the popular author Roger Wade of writing: " When its good it comes easy. anything you have read or heard to the contrary is a lot of MISH-MASH".