poodlesprings-300pxThe meeting started off, as we usually do, with a look at the author’s life.  Raymond Chandler was a drunk, a genius, a hound dog, and a very funny guy all rolled into a hardboiled noir bundle.

Raymond Chandler wrote the first four chapters of our book and then Robert B. Parker finished it.  Parker also wrote a sequel to The Big Sleep.  But while Chandler was influenced by Dashiell Hammett, Parker was so obviously influenced by Chandler.  While we agreed that we couldn’t really tell where Chandler ended and Parker picked up, Joan found herself wondering why Spenser was in California and where Susan was.  Marlowe and Spenser seemed interchangeable to her.

There’s a feel of smart-alecky-ness and of trying too hard to be witty and funny that may have once been novel and entertaining, but now only feels dated and forced.

We found the characters are entertaining, if a bit over the top, two-dimensional, and not terribly believable.  But if a reader is looking for some good escapism fare, this will do.

The big question — What’s in a gimlet?

Favorite characters – Eddy, Linda, Marlowe (He stays so true to himself).  Angel (Nicest person in the book, even though she was clueless).  Muriel.  She was fun bunch of crazy.  Some people liked all the characters, others didn’t like any of them.

Least favorite – Linda (She’s kind of a bitch).  Larry, Lippy, Blackstone, Marlowe, the police officer with the sap.