Over My Dead Body - Rex Stout, Michael Prichard The Big Sleep - Raymond Chandler, Ray Porter Double Indemnity - HarperAudio, James M. Cain, James Naughton

Somewhere along the line, I decided that I should check out some of the old detective fiction authors like Chandler and Stout. Somehow I managed to attain three in quick succession and I breezed through one after another. 

 

I think what I like best about these 1930's authors is their use of language and especially of simile. If I were reading and not listening, I would probably grab a pad and start counting how many times similes were actually used and then start highlighting some of the more erudite of these. The other thing that I like about these authors is that they just aren't as graphically violent as today's thriller/mystery/detective writers. Yes, I am painting all authors currently cranking out mysteries and thrillers with the same brush but frankly I'm too lazy to figure out which authors write the really gross prose, so I just avoid them all. And, it's not just the graphical violence but also the high level of ruthlessness and lack of personal integrity; it just doesn't do it for me. [Of course, this just doesn't explain my love of Dick Francis, whose Sid Halley novels are a bit more sadistic that I find tolerable.]

 

Of the three, Chandler is my favorite; The BIg Sleep is not the first I have read by him. It is probably reading his books that set me exploring other detective writers.  Stout and Cain are okay and if their titles ever turn up in the Audible sale piles, I will buy more. And, there are other authors I want to check out--Ellery Queen, Erle Stanley Garner come to mind quickly.