New York: Avon Publishing Company, 1950.
Vintage paperback, Avon pocket-size book #219.
A collection of four works by the creator of one of the great hard-boiled detectives Philip Marlowe. The collection includes three stories: Finger Man; The Bronze Door, Smart-Aleck Kill and a treatise on the genre: The Simple Art of Murder.
Raymond Chandler on the character of a detective: “He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor, by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world….He is a relatively poor man, or he would not be a detective at all. He is a common man, or he could not go among common people. He has a sense of character, or he would not know his job. He will take no man’s money dishonestly and no man’s insolence without a due and dispassionate revenge….He talks as the man of his age talks, that is, with rude wit, a lively sense of the grotesque, a disgust for sham and a contempt for pettiness. The story is his adventure in search of a hidden truth, and it would be no adventure, if it did not happen to a man fit for adventure. He has a range of awareness that startles you, but it belongs to him by right, because it belongs to the world he lives in.”Item #900350
4-1/4 x 6-1/5", pictorial wrappers, 153pp, 5pp ads, all edges red.
Crease upper corner front wrapper, usual toning to leaves, no owner's marks, wrapper illustration bright, a very good copy.