The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe #4) by Raymond Chandler

Published: 1943 Genre: Murder Mystery 1. First lines 2. A variety of covers including from Penguin and Audible 3. First edition cover [Public Domain] via Wikimedia

Fourth in the Philip Marlowe series, this book takes the detective to a remote cabin on a lake following a lead to find a missing woman. There he finds a dead woman in the lake. It is not his missing woman so he now has two mysteries to solve. What’s the chance that these two woman are connected?

“I saw a wave of dark blond hair straighten out in the water and hold still for a brief instant as if with a calculated effect, and then swirl into a tangle again.”

“The Lady in the Lake” by Raymond Chandler

Glanceabook: The reader is transported to a film noir movie set with where the characters smoke cigarettes and drink whiskey or gin – a lot of atmosphere created when describing smoke curling from a lit cigarette, or the clink of ice cubes in a glass. The detailed descriptions of what characters are wearing, or what a house looks like, all help to clearly visualise the action. The author has a unique way with words and comes up with some very snappy dialogue.

Literary Hub: “There is beauty of expression, witty dialogue, development of character, tremendous forcefulness, fast action, and thrills aplenty in The Last in the Lake. A thoroughly adult mystery to keep you awake long after bedtime.” (An original review by Ray Gould, The Montgomery Advertiser, December 5, 1943)


“I’m all done with hating you. It’s all washed out of me. I hate people hard, but I don’t hate them very long.”

“She looked playful and eager, but not quite sure of herself, like a new kitten in a house where they don’t care much about kittens.”

“I smelled of gin. Not just casually, as if I had taken four or five drinks of a winter morning to get out of bed on, but as if the Pacific Ocean was pure gin and I had nosedived off the boat deck. The gin was in my hair and eyebrows, on my chin and under my chin. It was on my shirt. I smelled like dead toads.”

“I lit a cigarette and dragged a smoking stand beside the chair. The minutes went by on tiptoe, with their fingers to their lips.”

Philip Marlowe series: Source: Penguin

  1. The Big Sleep
  2. Farewell, My Lovely
  3. The High Window
  4. The Lady in the Lake
  5. The Little Sister
  6. The Long Goodbye
  7. Playback
  8. Trouble Is My Business

Movie adaptation: Lady in the Lake is a 1947 American film noir starring Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, Lloyd Nolan, Tom Tully, Leon Ames and Jayne Meadows.

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