Monday, March 31, 2008

His name happened to be Mallory

The man in the powder-blue suit--which wasn't powder-blue under the lights of the Club Bolivar--was tall, with wide-set gray eyes, a thin nose, a jaw of stone. He had a rather sensitive mouth. His hair was crisp and black, ever so faintly touched with gray, as by an almost diffident hand. His clothes fitted him as though they had a soul of their own, not just a doubtful past. His name happened to be Mallory.
That's the way one story in the December 1933 edition of Black Mask magazine begins:

The title of the story? "Blackmailers Don't Shoot," which just happens to be the first appearance in print of detective fiction by Raymond Chandler.

If you'd like to take a short tour of the apartment building where Chandler lived with his wife Cissy when he wrote those lines, check out this YouTube video featuring Judith Freeman, author of The Long Embrace.


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