Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bay City Blues (short story; Chandler, Raymond)

Rating: 4
Year: 1938
Genre: Crime
Read again? Yes.

Number 6 of 12. Halfway there numerically, but it seems like so much more. As I'm writing this one, I'm reading #9 ("Trouble is my Business").

John Dalmas is set up with a case: A woman is dead, supposedly of carbon monoxide poisoning. There was no coroner's inquest, no police investigation. She was given a once-over, proclaimed a suicide, cremated, and that was that. Now Dalmas is asked to help Henry Matson, a P.I. from Bay City who didn't think the woman was a suicide, and that there are dirty cops and medical types who rigged the whole thing. They pulled Matson's P.I. license and ran him out of town.

Dalmas shortly receives a parcel with clues that point him to an apartment. Shortly after he gets there, Matson shows up and dies.

This story forms part of Chandler's novel, "The Lady in the Lake." I haven't read that one yet, but I'm going to give it a few months (or years) at least so I won't know what's about to happen, given that the shorts so far are lifted scene-for-scene into the later novels.

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