Hard Cover. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1943. First Edition. Near Fine / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing of the author's fourth Philip Marlowe mystery. One of 6,000 copies. Publisher's pale green cloth, lettered in dark green; in the original pictorial black dust jacket designed by Norman Reeves, with an illustration to the front panel of a white house on a purple mountain with shadowy figures at the foot, lettered in pale pink. A beautiful copy, with just a hint of toning to the extremities, else bright and clean; unclipped dust jacket, with some minor rubbing to the extremities, very faint toning to the spine, closed tears and creasing to the flap folds, some light soiling to the rear panel, otherwise fresh and clean, without the usual chipping. Overall, a very bright and attractive copy. Scarce with a dust jacket in such excellent condition. Housed in a custom clamshell box. Bruccoli A.4.1.a. Published on November 1, 1943, The Lady in the Lake takes Detective Philip Marlowe out of Los Angeles, his usual stomping grounds, to investigate the disappearance of a wealthy businessman's estranged wife Crystal. The investigation quickly becomes complicated when the man Crystal claimed to have run off with is also unaware of her whereabouts, and Chandler adds stolen identities, police corruption, and a shootout with American sentries to further twist the plot. As with many of his novels, Chandler based The Lady in the Lake's plot on various short stories he had previously written for literary magazines such as The Atlantic Monthly and Black Mask. Unlike Dashiell Hammett's Continental Op and Sam Spade, who are widely considered the archetypal hard-boiled detective figures, Marlowe possesses a sensitivity underneath his tough exterior that distinguishes him from similar detective characters in the genre. In 1947, The Lady in the Lake was adapted into a film starring Robert Montgomery, Audrey Totter, and Lloyd Nolan.