A Really Good Detective Never Gets Married

“Farewell, My Lovely” (1975) via Wikimedia Commons

“(A) Love interest nearly always weakens a mystery because it introduces a type of suspense that is antagonistic to the detective’s struggle to solve the problem. It stacks the cards, and in nine cases out of ten, it eliminates at least two useful suspects. The only effective love interest is that which creates a personal hazard for the detective – but which, at the same time, you instinctively feel to be a mere episode. A really good detective never gets married.”

  • “Casual Notes on the Mystery Novel” (essay, 1949), first published in Raymond Chandler Speaking (1962)

 

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About Rodger Jacobs

Writer

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