RARA-AVIS: The non-Marlowe stories in *TSAM*

30 Jan 99 09:50:00 -0500 --UNS_gsauns2_3046268384
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I won't comment on all of them, but a few short notes on a few:

"Spanish Blood"
Interesting early use of a an ethnic detective character, one who is
strong, tough, and assertive, and proud of his heritage (in apparent
contrast to Charlie Chan, the big wheel in ethnic detectives at the
time). One of only two Chandler stories I'm aware of in which the
hero is an official law enforcement officer rather than some kind of
private citizen. Best non-Marlowe story in the collection.

"Pick-up on Noon Street"
Undercover narc Pete Anglich is Marlowe's second cop character.
Interesting depiction of black ghetto (deleted from the pulp version
of the story, "Noon Street Nemesis" first published in *Detective
Fiction Weekly* 30 May 1936, and restored by Chandler from emeory for
the *TSAM* reprint). Chandler didn't seem comfortable with
cop-heroes. Lt. Delaguerra in "Spanish Blood" is supended and has to
carry on without official backing. Anglich is presumed by most cops
to be a crook, because of his undercover status. Interestingly, he
identifies himself as a private detective at one point. In both
cases, Chandler's cop-heroes are unable to make use of their official
positions. Further, since drugs aren't really a focal point of the
plot, why make Anglich a narc?

"Nevada Gas"
The hero is not a professional detective, but a professional gambler.
Was this Chandler's tip of the hat to Ned Beaumont, the
gambler/protagonist of Hammett's *The Glass Key*?

"Guns at Cyrano's"
Another third person PI, but with more of a back-story than Chandler
usually gives his characters. Because of Carmody's political
connections, he's able to talk back to cops with a lot less risk than
Marlowe and the others.

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