The Little Sister
Hard Cover. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1949. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First American edition, first printing. One of 12,500 copies. Publisher's reddish orange cloth, stamped in dark blue to front board and lettered in dark blue to spine; in the original pictorial dust jacket designed by Boris Artzybasheff. A near fine copy with a slight lean to the spine, spine ends with some fading; unclipped dust jacket about very good, with shallow chipping along edges, some loss to the spine ends (affecting "Raymond" and partially to the "N" in "Mifflin"), early tape reinforcements to jacket verso, mostly along spine. A good or better copy. The Little Sister is the fifth detective novel in Chandler's series featuring his protagonist Detective Philip Marlowe, "the most exciting high-velocity private investigator in the business." 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. Like many of Chandler's novels, The Little Sister is set in Los Angeles and the novel illuminates much of the day to day life in that city. Specifically, The Little Sister involves Hollywood and the film industry, focusing on the younger sister of a rising starlet. Despite the slightly more sensitive nature of Chandler's detective, The Little Sister is classic hard-boiled detective fiction with all of the austerity and ruggedness that hallmarks the genre. As the dust jacket proclaims, "Chandler is the master is of his own brand of vernacular and sets it down as if he were a divinely appointed recording angel to the tough guy."