Re: RARA-AVIS: Practical tips from hardboiled dicks

From: Diane Trap (
Date: 06 Nov 2000

> I'm a writing a story for Men's Health magazine (where I work) about all of
> the cool practical tips/advice that I've picked up from reading hardboiled
> detective novels over the years--everything from how to sweet talk someone to
> how mix a perfect cocktail to how to get out of a sticky situation.

In one of the novels a bartender advises Phillip Marlowe on the proper gin gimlet: equal parts gin and Rose's Lime Juice
(this is tasty but will peel the enamel off your teeth). I'm not remembering the title of the novel (age and atrophy, sorry)
--it's the one with Terry the veteran who married money and drinks too much.

In Mildred Pierce James Cain gets snippy about Mildred's baking; the line is something about how she learned to bake pies by time instead of by checking the oven "and so made better pies," showing himself to be an angry man with a well-calibrated oven. In a collection of his magazine writings is a rather didactic article on how to make and serve spaghetti--it's not from a novel, though.

You could probably do an entire article on advice from the James Bond books (Ian Fleming--the Tom Clancy of the Playboy lifestyle).

     -----Diane Trap

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