If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

April Interview Schedule:
4/3 Connie Berry
4/10 Malice Domestic Anthology 14 Authors
4/17 David Burnsworth
3/24 Grace Topping

Saturday Guest Bloggers: 4/6 Edith Maxwell, 4/13 Ellen Butler

WWK Satuday Bloggers: 4/20 Margaret S. Hamilton, 4/27 Kait Carson


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Please read Margaret S. Hamilton and Debra Goldstein's short stories (don't ask about their modus operandi) in a new anthology, Cooked To Death Vol. IV: Cold Cut Files

Congratulations to Shari Randall for her nomination for the Agatha Award for Best First Novel. Her book, Curses, Boiled Again was published by St. Martin's last year. Read the interviewabout the book here. Yay, Shari!

The Malice Domestic conference participants have nominated Annette Dashofy for an Agatha Award for her Zoe Chambers mystery Cry Wolf, published in 2018 by Henery Press. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Annette about Cry Wolf here. Will four nominations be the charm?

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: http://a.co/d/jdSBKdM

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder, which will be released April 30, is available for pre-order.

KM Rockwood's new short story, "Map to Oblivion," has been included the anthology Shhhh...Murder! edited by Andrew MacRae and published by Darkhouse Books. It was released on Sept. 12.

Warren Bull also has a story in Shhh...Murder! Look for "Elsinore Noir," Warren's short story, in this anthology.

Shari Randall's third Lobster Shack Mystery, Drawn and Buttered, was published February 26, 2019. Available for sale.


Friday, February 9, 2018

Killer in the Rain by Raymond Chandler: A review by Warren Bull

Killer in the Rain by Raymond Chandler: A review by Warren Bull

image from pixabay

This collection of eight stories includes the ones Chandler called “cannibalized” becaused he used 

parts of them in his novels. The used parts vary from single scenes to long passages. He often took 

from more than one short story in one novel. It’s fun to see how characters and elements are changed 

in the novels.  Some are extensions help clarify what it is only hinted at in the stories.

The short stories stand very well on their own even though the PI has not yet evolved into Phillip 

Marlowe.  The protagonist is nameless in the first story.  In later stories he is Carmady, John Dalmas 

and John Evans. By whatever name, the hero’s mission is to protect the weak and innocent. He makes 

sure justice is done one way or another. He is brave and he is more interested in cleaning up messes 

than in making money.

There is action. So much action in so few words it sometimes leaves the plots in second place. But 

they are well worth reading. 

Chandler has a memorable way with analogies and descriptions. 

Here is an example, in the short story Curtains: “The air steamed. The walls and ceiling of the glass 

house dripped. In the halflight enormous tropical plants spread their blooms and branches all over the 

place, and the smell of them was almost as overpowering as the smell of boiling alcohol.”

Here is the same scene adapted for The Big Sleep: The air was thick, wet, steamy and larded with the 

cloying smell of tropical orchards in bloom. The glass walls and roof were heavily misted with big 

drops of moisture splashed down on the plants. The light had an unreal greenish colour, like light 

filtered through an aquarium tank. The plants filled the place, a forest if them, with nasty, meaty 

leaves and stalks like the newly washed fingers of dead men. They smelled as overpowering as 

boiling alcohol under a blanket.”

Although longer, the writing is more intense with not one extra word.

It is clear why Chandler holds a unique place in mystery writing. I recommend the book very highly.


Kait said...

Wow, what a vivid description, I can feel the humidity. Going to have to look up the nameless protagonist story. Interesting concept.

KM Rockwood said...

This shows us one of the reasons Chandler is such a classic!

I often view short stories as "sketches" for other works, the way an artist may, for instance, draw a bridge planned for a bigger piece in various lights & from various angles. It helps give a feel for characters, settings and scenes.

Margaret Turkevich said...

Love the hot house description!

I create new characters in a short story and may bring them back in a future work.

Grace Topping said...

Warren, I've followed so many of your recommendations that I guess a Chandler book will be one of my next books. Thanks for the recommendations.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I have to put that book on my list to read, too.

Lori L. Robinett said...

Intriguing review. Several of my novels began as nuggets in short stories. So interesting to see the way Chandler's seeds turned into more. Thanks!