"A NICE SENSE OF HUMOR… LIKE A MORGUE ATTENDANT": FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF RAYMOND CHANDLER'S KILLER IN THE RAIN
CHANDLER, Raymond. Killer in the Rain. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1964. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $750.
First American edition, issued barely six months after the same year's English edition, of eight Chandler short stories never before collected in one volume, including "Killer in the Rain," "Bay City Blues" and "The Lady in the Lake," a splendid copy in the original dust jacket.
Chandler called these his 'cannibalized' stories because he reshuffled them into later novels. When he published The Simple Art of Murder in 1950, his official short story collection, Chandler excluded all eight. The "only way he could justify" their reuse in novels was to leave them "buried… in the pages of the rapidly disappearing pulp magazines" (Introduction). "These eight from Black Mask were virtually unknown until collected in this volume," which was published five years after Chandler's death (Barzun & Taylor 3669). Much of "Killer in the Rain" (1935) and "The Curtain" (1936) appeared in his first novel The Big Sleep (1939). Elements of "The Man Who Liked Dogs" (1936), "Try the Girl" (1937) and "Mandarin's Jade" (1937) were crafted into Farewell, My Lovely (1940), and Lady in the Lake (1943) drew from "Bay City Blues" (1937), "The Lady in the Lake" (1939) and "No Crime in the Mountains" (1941). With "First Printing" on copyright page. The British edition precedes this by six months. Bruccoli A14.2. Hubin, Comprehensive 152.
Book fine; trace of edge-wear, tiny closed tear to rear panel of bright about-fine dust jacket.