Archives: William Marling

Ross Macdonald takes hard-boiled fiction to new levels of style and plot

January 18, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, Private eye, writers, writing.

Just when the reading world thought that the hard-boiled detective novel had reached its zenith with Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, along comes Ross Macdonald. The similarities among the lives of Hammett, Chandler, and Macdonald (whose real name was Kenneth Millar) are striking and significant: All had difficult and disruptive childhoods. Each, for a time, • Read More »

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Raymond Chandler: a troubled author who raised the level of hard-boiled detective fiction

January 10, 2018 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: fiction, journalism, Private eye.

Raymond Chandler brought a level of emotional complexity to his characters that had never been seen before in hard-boiled detective fiction.

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The ‘private eye,’ in the beginning: Dashiell Hammett

December 27, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, Private eye, writers, writing.

Dashiell Hammett knew what a private detective should be. He knew because he had been one, and he had been taught by the very best. Born in Maryland in 1894, Hammett had failed at most everything he tried in the first two decades of his life. Intelligent, tall, and handsome, he did not finish school, • Read More »

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A ‘day’ becomes a ‘date’; Poe’s rules for detective fiction; a little bit of Henry Fowler

December 11, 2017 | By Jim Stovall | No Comments | Filed in: journalism, newsletter, Private eye.

This newsletter was sent to everyone on Jim’s email list (4,140) on Friday, Dec. 8, 2017. Hi,  Last week’s question: Were there no Americans before 1776? An answer came in from newsletter reader and good friend Jane P: There were many Americans long before 1776, in the numerous Native American societies and groups across what became the • Read More »

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