Eric Hendrixson's Reviews > The Simple Art of Murder

The Simple Art of Murder by Raymond Chandler
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's review
Apr 21, 2010

it was amazing

This book starts with an essay that is simultaneously a viable piece of literary criticism and a hatchet job on Agatha Christey/Angela Lansbury-style detective stories. It is an excellent essay, simultaneously literate and market-aware.

This is followed by four long short stories. And here's the thing, they don't all have the same main character and they aren't all in the first person. We all love Phil, but it's nice to see Chandler using other characters. Most interesting in the collection is the last story, "Pearls Are a Nuisance," in which the detective is a Wodehouse-style upper class twit and an utterly incompetent detective. In the context of the essay, the parody is obvious but very satisfying.

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