Raymond Chandler's first three novels, published here in one volume, established his reputation as an unsurpassed master of hard-boiled detective fiction.
The Big Sleep, Chandler's first novel, introduces Philip Marlowe, a private detective inhabiting the seamy side of Los Angeles in the 1930s, as he takes on a case involving a paralyzed California millionaire, two psychotic daughters, blackmail, and murder. In Farewell, My Lovely, Marlowe deals with the gambling circuit, a murder he stumbles upon, and three very beautiful but potentially deadly women. In The High Window, Marlowe searches the California underworld for a priceless gold coin and finds himself deep in the tangled affairs of a dead coin collector.
In all three novels, Chandler's hard-edged prose, colorful characters, vivid vernacular, and, above all, his enigmatic loner of a hero, enduringly establish his claim not only to the heights of his chosen genre but to the pantheon of literary art.