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


June Interviews

6/02 Terrie Moran, Murder She Wrote: Killing in a Koi Pond

6/09 Connie Berry, The Art of Betrayal

6/16 Kathleen Kalb, A Final Finale or A Fatal First Night

6/23 Jackie Layton, Bag of Bones: A Low Country Dog Walker Mystery

6/30 Mary Keliikoa, Denied


Saturday WWK Bloggers

6/12 Jennifer J. Chow

6/26 Kait Carson


Guest Blogs

6/05 Samantha Downing

6/19 Lynn Johanson













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E. B. Davis's "The Pearl Necklace" will appear in the new SinC Guppy anthology The Fish That Got Away to be released in July by Wildside Press. The anthology was edited by Linda Rodriguez. It will be released on June 21st.


Paula Gail Benson's monologue "Beloved Husband," from the perspective of Norton Baskin the second husband of Marjorie Kinan Rawlings (who wrote The Yearling and Cross Creek), appears in the Red Penguin Collection's An Empty Stage (released March 28, 2021).


Martha Reed's "Death by GPS" will appear in the Spring 2021 issue of Suspense Magazine, which will be released in the second week of April. Congratulations, Martha!


Susan Van Kirk has a new audiobook, A Death at Tippitt Pond, that will be released this month. Marry in Haste will be released in May by Harlequin Worldwide Mystery, as will Death Takes No Bribes in September. Congratulations, Susan.


Congratulations to Martha Reed. Her short story, "The Honor Thief" was chosen for the 2021 Bouchercon Anthology, This Time For Sure. Hank Phillippi Ryan will edit the volume, which will be released in August at the time of the convention.


Margaret S. Hamilton's short story, "Killer Weeds," appears in the January 20 edition of Texas Gardener's Seeds: From Our Garden to Yours. Congratulations, Margaret, who, if you follow Facebook know, is a superb gardener herself!


Congratulations to Paula Gail Benson whose "Reputation or Soul" has been chosen for Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical anthology to be released this spring.


KM Rockwood's "Stay Safe--Very Safe" appears in this year's 2020 BOULD anthology. Congratulations, KM!


Annette Dashofy signed with agent Dawn Dowdle of the Blue Ridge Literary Agency. Congratulations, Annette!

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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.

6 comments:

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 S. Hamilton 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!