Somebody’s Top Ten + 4

I noticed that Devil in a Blue Dress showed up on someone’s list of the fourteen best private eye novels of all time. I have no idea why they decided to choose fourteen, or who they polled. It’s nice that Mosley’s up there, and that Hammett gets lots of respect (Red Harvest came in at number nineteen). Raymond Chandler has three spots in the top ten. I always thought of him as The Man when it comes to hardboiled fiction. We didn’t read any of his books, but his presence was strong in the course, from his screen play for Double Indemnity to his influence on his contemporaries and everyone who came after. V.I. Warshawski can almost be seen as a parody of Chandler’s Marlowe. There are several familiar names on the list, and quite a few titles I haven’t read. “Read more Hammett” is going to be my New Years resolution, so I’ll start at the top.

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