*Originally published as Avon Mystery Monthly 43, 1946
Title: Finger Man
Author: Raymond Chandler
Cover artist: Uncredited
Yours for: $50
Best things about this cover:
- The lady is hot and all, but it's Joey Green Visor who really sells this cover. He's either trying to commiserate with Captain Handsome about how stunning the lady is, or else he is starstruck because he thinks Captain Handsome is Clark Gable.
- This woman is in Desperate need of a new hairdo. Her hair has all the textural allure of sculpted rubber. Plus, that left nipple ... it's like I'm staring down the barrel of a gun.
- "Oh, excuse me, I seem to have dropped my bulging wallet ..."
- I see the "roulette wheel," but ... where's the "redhead?"
- In case you didn't know, Raymond Chandler rules. Best Crime Fiction Writer Ever.
Best things about this back cover:
- The fact that all the adjectives in the line "Fast Action, Hard Women, and Ruthless Crime" are interchangeable.
- Shakespeare Head!
- "Blood-and-sex" is a category of writer?
- Please notice all the hyphens. I'm telling you, it's a rule: Toughness is proportional to hyphen density.
I have this theory that if you take the best line out of any crime novel of your choosing, and then take the best line on a random page of any Chandler novel, the Chandler line will win hands down. I will now test this theory on ... Page 123!
"Shut up, snow-bird!" Mallory snapped. "Nobody's getting anybody. This is just a talk between friends. Get up on your feet and stop throwin' curves!"
"Mallory" was the name of Chandler's detective in the early days, before he settled into my personal hero, Philip Marlowe.
PS thanks to Todd Robbins at The Modern Con Man for naming this site his "Site of the Week." His book is beautiful and you should buy it.