Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Lady in the Lake (short story; Chandler, Raymond)

Rating: 5
Year: 1939
Genre: Crime
Read again? Yes

Number 7 of 12 shorts in "Trouble is my Business," and also a chunk of the novel of the same name.

John Dalmas is hired to look for a missing wife; she's told her husband she's leaving him and getting remarried in Mexico. But Mr. Melton saw loverboy just a few days earlier.

Dalmas goes to loverboy's house and pokes around the outside of it, knocking on doors, before finally tripping a spring-lock in back and letting himself in. Loverboy is dead in the living room.

Mr. Melton supposes that wifey could be up at the lake house, so Dalmas hoofs it up there and meets Mr. Haines, the caretaker of a few cottages, including Melton's. Haines is unhappy. Dalmas shares out a pint of whiskey to loosen him up, get him to talk. It seems his wife left him a few days before, about the same time Melton's wife went missing.

They go for a walk so Haines can talk some more...and they find a woman's body submerged in the lake.

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