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Poodle Springs Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 1990


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (November 1, 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 042512343X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425123430
  • Product Dimensions: 4.5 x 0.8 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,858,908 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Detective Philip Marlowe's seventh caper takes place in Poodle Springs (read: Palm Springs) and in L.A., where a gambler has been framed for murder. "Sustaining tensions, writing in tune with the period and delivering a knockout finale, Parker does nobly by the great Chandler," determined PW.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Chandler died in 1959, leaving behind the opening chapters of this Philip Marlowe private investigator novel set in the 1950s, which Parker has completed. Here, Marlowe has a rich wife (shades of Hammett's Nick and Nora Charles) and has moved from Los Angeles to the big-buck community of Poodle Springs, where he is hired by the area crime boss to track down a missing local who has run out on a gambling debt. The plot evolves with murder, blackmail, and a little bigamy for good measure. Though there's more talk than action, and Marlowe's usual hard edges are rounded off a bit, there is still deep intrigue and lots of snappy dialogue. Completing a story started by another is difficult, especially when it involves an estalished character, but Parker has done an impressive job in adapting to Chandler's style and sense of humor. All one can say when reading this is, "Marlowe, it's good to have you back." Literary Guild alternate; Doubleday Book Club featured alternate; Mystery Guild main selection.
- Michael Rogers, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

Certainly readable but Parker is no Chandler.
indore
He uses too many plot devices that we already know, his hard-boiled slang is just too hard-boiled.
andrea schmidt-baumann
Overall, on pure enjoyment, I highly recommend it.
C. Baker

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 22, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
After reading this book, I had to re-read the editorial hype in disbelief. Anyone who can't tell where Chandler left off and Parker took over is blind. Philip Marlowe was certainly an inspiration for Parker's Spenser character, so you'd expect some similarities, even if they were written by two different authors. But in this book, Marlowe does both a time-warp and a personality transformation right around Chapter Four, so that by the end of the story he walks and talks and acts like a wisecracking private eye from modern Boston - the only character that Parker seems able to write well. As if that's not bad enough, Marlowe appears to quit smoking somewhere in the middle, and he and his wife end with the same can't-live-with-you, can't-live-without-you relationship (we can still be lovers! she cheerfully declares after asking for a divorce) that is at the heart of the Spenser and Susan novels. Susan Silverman has a lot of complicated reasons to settle for less than a traditional marriage, but Mrs. Marlowe doesn't. The mystery isn't too bad if you like lots of lurid sex and murder, but it doesn't justify the sloppy writing. The end is unsatisfying because the baddest guy of all not only gets away, but gets Marlowe's assistance because, again like Spenser, he's a sucker for a nice woman in love with her man - even if the man is a scumbag. All in all, unless you're a serious fan and HAVE to read everything Parker has written (in other words, unless you're doomed like me), I'd recommend reading Chandler if you like Chandler, and Parker if you like Parker. Mixing them produced a foul smell.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Neal Reynolds VINE VOICE on July 2, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I found this pleasant enough, enjoyable enough. I read it easily in a couple of readings. And I did enjoy it, but it didn't grab hold of me like Raymond Chandler's stories. I had no trouble lying it down around the 2/3 point, and eventually coming back to finish it. I always had a bit more trouble lying down a Raymond Chandler story.
I didn't often stop and look through earlier parts to confirm an idea in my mind, as I did with Chandler. I didn't have any "aha!"s throughout the book.
The Marlowe characterization was weak. I didn't notice that he quit smoking in the middle of the book, as one reviewer thought he noticed...in fact, he kept up pretty well with alternating between the pipe and cigarettes all the way through. Being married does obviously create problems he hadn't had before. It does inhibit him, and just the situation does keep him from being the Marlowe we're used to. He has someone else besides himself to think of now, and it's messing up his basic style.
The case he's working on and the subplot of his shaky marriage do work together well enough, because the personal challenges in his life are affecting his feelings toward the characters involved.
On it's own, this is good enough, but not great. A larger than average percentage of the characters make it to the end of the book. And Parker doesn't have quite the photographic description of people and places that Chandler did. So it will let down Chandler & Marlowe fans, but supply others with a brisk, satisfying , though likely soon forgotten, read.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. Baker VINE VOICE on March 9, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Poodle Springs is Robert B. Parker's completion of a novel started by Raymond Chandler before he died in 1959 featuring private detective Philip Marlow. While I have read some of Chandler's previous novels featuring Marlow I have no emotional attachment to the character so I come with a blank slate in terms of evaluating whether Parker lives up to Chandler's character. Frankly I thought Parker did a fabulous job with the novel. It is a rather straightforward, gritty mystery, and a well done one at that. The tricky part is the unlikely event of Marlowe's being married to Linda Loring ne Potter (what her last name really is was a bit confusing to me, except she is now Mrs. Marlowe in this novel).

In this novel Marlowe is living in the plush community of Poodle Springs with his very wealthy wife instead of his usual gritty haunts in Los Angeles. He is hired to find a man who has skipped out on a $100,000 IOU from an illegal gambling establishment. It turns out the fellow is leading a double life involving pornography and blackmail and has gotten himself way over is head. Marlowe, intrepid as ever, chases him down in a nicely twisted plot. While doing this Marlowe has to deal with his rich wife's unhappiness over his continuing to be a private eye when he could live a life of leisure and spend time with her. But that he can't do or he wouldn't be Philip Marlowe anymore. The story revolved more around the case than Marlowe's marriage to Linda but Parker does a great job of blending it in. Frankly, I think this is one of the better novels Parker has written.

My only complaint about the novel is that we really never get to know Linda very well at all. Her mannerisms come off as a spoiled rich debutante but she is clearly not that.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By ndamien@mailexcite.com on November 20, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The decision by Chandler to wed Marlowe was better left unwritten, and, I feel, represented the loneliness and increasing malaise that he experienced late in his life. Robert Parker's novel felt forced and contrived. He tried too hard to incorporate and utilize the vernacular that Chandler was famous for. I was unsatisfied and disappointed by this. To me, it read like so many other books written in the "style" of other authors, such as "Scarlett", or "Mrs. DeWinter". No one can truly speak the words of Raymond Chandler (or Mitchell and DuMaurier). This book should have been left in the abandoned integrity of the first four chapters.
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