Re: RARA-AVIS: Chandler & Chase

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 14 Dec 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: <>

> I can't say whether Chase read THE BIG SLEEP before he wrote ORCHIDS and
> are right that they were published in the same year. I will point out
> big hunks of THE BIG SLEEP were published as novelettes in US magazines
> to 1939 and in plenty of time for Chase to have read them. As a writer
> proved to be quite a "fan" of Chandler, Hammett and Latimer, Chase (or
> Raymond to give his real name) had incentive to seek them out.
> I put the "fan" in quotes as while we may not be able to say Raymond was
> influenced by Chandler, we can say he stole from him and admitted to this
> plagiarism in a letter to "The Bookseller" magazine in the UK and promised
> refrain from future plagiarims as well as to pay all legal costs. The
> in question was BLONDE'S REQUIEM published by Raymond under the name
> Marshall and in which he lifted passages from Latimer, Hammett as well as
> Chandler.

Shameless. This was in 1946. By this time I guess his best friend Graham Greene had told Chase he'd have to write his own stuff now and Chase got huffy and started stealing whatever he could lay his hands on. I haven't read BLONDE'S REQUIEM and it looks like it's not going to be easy to find. Sounds good, though! Chandler, Hammett and Latimer rolled into one. Thanks for the info, Richard.


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