Plot or Premise
In Raymond Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”, the reader was introduced to all the main characters — Sternwood himself, his butler, his two daughters, and a gangster. And of course Marlowe was along for the ride. In this sequel by Robert B. Parker, Philip Marlowe returns to Sternwood Manor to solve the case of a missing daughter, Carmen, who disappeared from her much-deserved stay in a sanitarium.
What I Liked
A nice tribute to the Marlowe style, and you get to see Parker’s and Chandler’s styles side-by-side.
What I Didn’t Like
I found this to be a very strange book to read because of its constantly switching styles. The main text, written by Parker, reads like classic Spenser — same style, sentence structure, etc. However, there are constant “flashbacks” that show up as classic Marlowe in the style of Chandler. If they were just occasional flashbacks, it might have made for an interesting read, but the constant jumps made it very hard to adjust at times.
The Bottom Line (★★★☆☆)
Nice tribute, I hope future Marlowe stories stick to Spenser style.