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The Lady in the Lake

(Philip Marlowe #4)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  15,364 ratings  ·  855 reviews
A couple of missing wives—one a rich man's and one a poor man's—become the objects of Marlowe's investigation. One of them may have gotten a Mexican divorce and married a gigolo and the other may be dead. Marlowe's not sure he cares about either one, but he's not paid to care.
Paperback, 266 pages
Published August 12th 1988 by Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (first published 1943)
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4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  15,364 ratings  ·  855 reviews

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Henry Avila
Feb 24, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Looking down into the deep waters of the small lake there is movement a hand... the murky image is unclear, concealing a secret which gives this book its title, The Lady in the Lake, Marlowe watches, his stomach is...
not joyful, however appearances can be deceiving. The brutish husband Bill Chess, the village drunk is arrested for the crime, the victim his mysterious mate an outsider, Muriel has been wet for a month, so well...
the difficulty in identification is very unpleasant for the poor lo
Paul Bryant
Sep 27, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Raindrops on strippers and crisp apple gunshots
Bright copper floozies and warm woolly whatnots,
Muscular gentlemen tied up with strings
These are a few of my favorite things

Girls in bikinis with breathtaking lipstick
Slayed belles on gurneys as fast talking dicks quip
Silverwhite cocaine and fabulous bling
These are a few of my favourite thing

Finding those corpses with wide ugly gashes
And no nose at all and not many eyelashes
And Chandler and Marlowe and slightly left wings
These are a few of my favou
David Gustafson
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I have decided to take a break from my usual obsession with history to take a deep plunge into several of the classic noir detective novels by Raymond Chandler, James M. Cain and Dashiell Hammett. A few of these will be re-reads.
Why noir? America is even divided between two fanatical ideologies so I guess the noir genre suits my cynical nature as an outcast, literary hermit who despises the hypocritical dishonesty and corruption of both political franchises as well as the obedient myrmidons i
Jul 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5-Stars! WOW! A masterpiece. The very best Marlowe of all.

Great pacing, wonderful progression of events and clues, just enough snappy dialogue, delicious "detective-as-philosopher" quotations, genuine tension and suspense, a sprinkling of red herrings... This is the whole enchilada! Awesome!

I brushed my hair and looked at the grey in it. There was getting to be plenty of grey in it. The face under the hair had a sick look. I didn’t like the face at all. I went back to the desk .... I sat very s
Dan Schwent
Aug 06, 2012 rated it liked it
A rich man hires Phillip Marlowe to find his wife. The trail leads to a resort town and another dead woman. Where is Crystal Kingsley? And who killed Muriel Chess? And what did Chris Lavery or Dr. Almore have to do with it?

The Lady in the Lake is a tale of lies, double crosses, cheating woman, murder, and a shop-soiled Galahad named Phillip Marlowe caught in the middle of it. Chander and Marlowe set the standards for slick-talking detectives for generations to come and Marlowe is in fine form in
Luís C.
The Chandler mechanics is well oiled: a rich client calls on Marlowe's services and the detective becomes aware from the start of the investigation that he has set foot in a nest of vipers. He's going to have to deal with corrupt policemen and determined gangsters. And he's going to get his head full, once again. And he's going to get his head full, once again. But our private has tough skin and is determined to unravel the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Crystal, the wife of Derace Kin ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
The Lady in the Lake (Philip Marlowe, #4), Raymond Chandler
The Lady in the Lake is a 1943 detective novel by Raymond Chandler featuring, as do all his major works, the Los Angeles private investigator Philip Marlowe. Notable for its removal of Marlowe from his usual Los Angeles environs for much of the book, the novel's complicated plot initially deals with the case of a missing woman in a small mountain town some 80 miles (130 km) from the city. The book was written shortly after the attack on
Jun 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
A rich man asked Philip Marlowe to find his missing wife who presumably ran away to Mexico to get a divorce, but disappeared since then. The search quickly led the private detective to a dead body of another woman with seemingly no connection to the first one, except for them being neighbors. The number of dead bodies rapidly increases as Marlowe tries to get to the bottom of a very complicated mystery while dodging cold-blooded killers, corrupted cops (the level of corruption in Bay City seems ...more
Paul E. Morph
May 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering silmite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king!

Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government! Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony!

The fact that I can't resist a Monty Python quote aside, the titu
Apr 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crystal, Muriel, Mildred, Adrienne and Florence are the women displayed in Chandler's Hall of Mirrors, which begins with the simple case of a missing wife and quickly develops into four murders, plus a Dr Feelgood who feeds his patients drugs; and corrupt cops in Bay City, or Santa Monica, Ca., that Chandler knew all too well. I think he invented the cliche of a coshed character who wakes up with a dead body in the same room. Here it's a stiff femme fatale on the bed and she's only wearing nylon ...more
Mahdi Lotfi
رمانهای چندلر پیش از آنکه داستانهای پلیسی باشند آثار ادبی هستند . او می گفت : رنگ مایه داستان ، به غیر از عامل معما ، باید از کشش دراماتیک و محتوای غنی انسانی برخوردار باشد. چندلر ، در عین حال که خشونت و حادثه را به فضای داستانهایش راه می دهد ، از تشریح محیط اجتماعی و توصیف تحولات روانی شخصیت هایش نیز غافل نمی شود. داستانهای او برخوردار از روایت پردازی ساده و بی پیرایه ، همراه با تصاویری شاعرانه و طنزی غافلگیر کننده است . بانوی دریاچه چهارمین رمان بلند چندلر است و از بهترین آثار او به شمار می آی ...more
Aug 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
More Marlowe with double-crossing and the usual twists and turns that I like/love in this series.

Audio narration by Elliot Gould.

May 18, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: black-as-night
Marlowe but not as I remember him.

I generally love Chandler's style and specifically love Marlowe as a wise-cracking hard-boiled PI but for me there was something not up to speed with this book.

Aside from the fact that I knew exactly how the narrative would play out thanks to the mighty obvious use of the genre staple of portraits and doubles meaning every incident in between felt like a lazy attempt at placing red herrings there was so little in the way of great dialogue and internal monologue
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2015
I should probably slow down on calling Raymond Chander a god. Novelists who write so damn well (and there are few of those) must sometimes tire of both hyperbole and the undersell too. Look. This isn't my favorite Chandler or my favorite Marlowe, and the Great and Glorious Chandler doesn't deviate too far from his script (Rich, difficult clients >> wise-cracking PI >> dame >> cops >> drinks >> California >> dead bodies >> Marlowe close to the line >&g ...more
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, ebook, fiction, noir
"Police business," he said almost gently, "is a hell of a problem. It's a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men . So we have to work with what we get— and we get things like this."

A man’s wife is missing and Philip Marlowe is hired to find her. When his search leads him to the discovery of a different dead woman, the self-proclaimed "Murder-A-Day Marlowe" has questions and by God, people are going to answer them
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: noir
Come l’immagine di copertina ed il titolo del libro fanno capire, “cerchez la femme”, o meglio “les femmes”, perché la trama gira intorno a due donne scomparse, ambedue donne fatali, mangiatrici di uomini, alla ricerca del pollo ricco da spennare senza disdegnare amanti poveri ma belli. Marlowe investiga a modo suo, con la sua Chrysler si aggira tra Bay City, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, con l’ironia che lo contraddistingue Chandler accompagna il lettore lungo le strade della California, tra pol ...more
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Mish by: Michael
I came to reading this book because I needed something to read for my Literary Exploration challenge, Hardboiled genre. Never having read this type of genre before, I had refer to my bookish friend, Michael Kitto, for help. He recommended The Lady in the Lake as an introduction too the well known and respected Private Investigator, Philip Marlowe, and to this genre. I can see from several reviews that this was a very popular choice for first timers like me.

In this book Marlowe was employed by a
Passei por uma fase da minha vida (bastante prolongada) em que devorava policiais e dizia ser este um dos meus géneros preferidos. Uma fase que começou na adolescência, com a descoberta de Sherlock Holmes e terminou no início da idade adulta mais ou menos por volta dos meus 19 anos.
Nessa altura, comecei a achar que os policiais eram sempre "mais do mesmo", entretenimento olvidável, livros que pouco me acrescentavam enquanto pessoa e abandonei-os por completo para fazer leituras que eu julgava ma
Tim Orfanos
Μια από τις πιο ολοκληρωμένες προσπάθειες και ένα από τα πιο ενδιαφέροντα, κατά τη γνώμη μου, βιβλία του Chandler, το οποίο επιδρά στον αναγνώστη με ένα μυστικιστικό τρόπο.

Στο πρώτο μισό του βιβλίου (είναι και το καλύτερο από θέμα ροής), ο Chandler γοητεύει και ταυτόχρονα προξενεί μια στοιχειωτική αίσθηση φόβου και πανικού, όταν περιγράφει το σκληρό και 'παγωμένο τοπίο της λίμνης, η οποία κρύβει μέσα στα 'φονικά' νερά της ένα πτώμα γυναίκας σε αποσύνθεση. Ο συγγραφικό τόνος παραπέμπει σε αστυνομ
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Brenda by: Michael
Private Investigator Philip Marlowe was hired by Derace Kingsley to find his missing wife, Crystal – she had been missing for a month after contacting him from their cabin via telegram to say she was going to divorce him and marry Chris Lavery. Kingsley was concerned enough to want her found – Marlowe started his investigation not realizing how deeply he would become involved, how many webs would wind their way throughout quite a number of lives.

With a little help from a country sheriff by the n
Pamela Mclaren
Sep 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, classics
If you love the time period of the 40s and gritty film noir, there is no better storyteller than Raymond Chandler. This is a book where the dames are beautiful but wicked — or dead, the men are big and shifty, and the story is definitely twisted.

This time around, Chandler's independent private eye Philip Marlowe is hired to locate a flighty and missing wife. He tracks her to a small community up in the mountains but the body in the lake is ID'd as the wife of another man, a man who has implied t
Maria João Fernandes
"Chandler escreve como se a dor doesse e a vida importasse."

A "Dama do Lago" conta-nos mais uma história com Philip Marlowe. Tudo começa quando o detetive privado é contratado para encontrar uma pessoa desaparecida. Contudo, o que começa por parecer um caso como muitos outros, revela-se numa série de crimes relacionados entre si.

Os crimes descritos neste livro são cometidos pelo mesmo tipo de pessoas que os comentem na vida real. O enredo é surrealmente real: os criminosos usam armas. A verdade
João Barradas
Quando pensamos em romance policial noir, as imagens que surgem na nossa mente apresentam um tom escuro, num ambiente esfumado, sem grande definição do certo e do errado… como se algum ópio brotasse das suas páginas e nos embargasse o espírito.
Omitindo a expressão funesta e proibida de “investigação de casos de divórcio”, a trama centra-se num conjunto de casos de homicídio, perpetrados de forma sobejamente encadeada, com um ponto em comum: a associação a femmes fatalles, que quais devoradoras d
Aug 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: crime, noir
I’m slowly making my way through the Philip Marlowe books in order and I have to say I didn’t think this one was up to scratch. The dialogue and similes were as witty as ever but the plot was so convoluted. I thought maybe it was because I was listening along on audio, but looking at other reviews, several readers agree about the convoluted storyline. Still plan to complete the series though because- you know- Philip Marlowe.
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I've read this book now three times in as many months. More times in as many years. The first time I read it, years ago, I was nineteen. Much older now, I had to come back with a different perspective and try to see what Raymond Chandler was really up to. Entertaining the reader wasn't the point. Sending Marlowe into another violent beat down, like some of the other books, wasn't the point. Chasing down the mystery man, or woman, wasn't the point either.

I can say this. Raymond Chandler, for thos
Mohammad Ali

مهمترین ویژگی این داستان که فراموش نشدنیه، میزان کشش اونه. من هر بار که می خواستم خوندن بقیه شو بندازم برای فردا باید خودمو ازش می کندم. و این برای هر نویسنده یه موفقیته. نمی تونم بگم همه ی نظریات مارلو یا حرفاش در مورد رد این یا اون نظریه به دلم - و مهمتر به عقلم - نشست اما موقعیت های واقعی و انسانی داستان و لحن خودمونی و طنزآمیزش - حداقل تا اون حدی که در ترجمه منتقل شده بود - اصلا نمی ذاشت با داستان حس غریبگی کنی - برخلاف امثال شرلوک هلمز. این رو باید اذعان کنم که داستان دیگه خیلی قتل تو قتل ش
Carla Remy
Jul 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful. This was my third time reading The Lady in the Lake. I find it engaging and effective, more than some of the other Philip Marlowe books even. The mystery seems convoluted then simple and it gets me every time (though it's fairly easy to guess, I suppose). I never try to guess the solution, and memory is funny - the way I'll remember so much of the story but not the end.
Nancy Oakes
Jan 21, 2014 rated it really liked it

Cutting right to the chase, the fourth novel in Chandler's Marlowe series begins with a missing wife. Degrace Kingsley, a businessman in the perfume business, hires Marlowe to find his wife Crystal. Although they'd been "washed up for years," Kingsley needs Marlowe to find her to make sure she hasn't done anything scandalous to reflect back on him. The last time he knew Crystal's actual whereabouts was a month earlier, when she was staying at their cabin up at at Little Fawn Lake at Puma Point.
Roxana Chirilă
First of all, disclaimer: I've read this in Romanian, not English, and the translated prose flows like the River Ankh in Discworld (hint: it doesn't). So I missed a lot of the fun everybody else seemed to be having.

Anyway, let's talk about the plot.

If there's one thing I hate in a mystery novel is to be able to tell early on what happened with the murder and all that - which is what happened here. I'm not sure it's Chandler's fault or if I can recognize hints when I see them, but everything clic
Nov 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Good, solid Chandler. Maturity of craft, but not quite as taut as High Window, and a large piece of the puzzle was obvious almost from the outset. Still, excellent book. The characterization is particularly rich and well done.
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  • Sleeping Beauty
  • The Dain Curse
  • Rendezvous in Black
  • The Mike Hammer Collection, Volume II
Raymond Thornton Chandler was an American novelist and screenwriter.

In 1932, at age forty-four, Raymond Chandler decided to become a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Depression. His first short story, "Blackmailers Don't Shoot", was published in 1933 in Black Mask, a popular pulp magazine. His first novel, The Big Sleep, was published in 1939. In

Other books in the series

Philip Marlowe (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Big Sleep (Philip Marlowe, #1)
  • Farewell, My Lovely (Philip Marlowe, #2)
  • The High Window (Philip Marlowe, #3)
  • The Little Sister (Philip Marlowe, #5)
  • The Long Goodbye (Philip Marlowe, #6)
  • Playback (Philip Marlowe, #7)
  • Poodle Springs (Philip Marlowe, #8)
  • The Raymond Chandler Omnibus: The Big Sleep / Farewell My Lovely / The High Window / The Lady in the Lake
  • The  Second Chandler Omnibus
  • Todo Marlowe
“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.” 57 likes
“Police business is a hell of a problem. It’s a good deal like politics. It asks for the highest type of men, and there’s nothing in it to attract the highest type of men. So we have to work with what we get...” 48 likes
More quotes…