Back on the mean streets with 2 Philip Marlowe books

Here’s a look at “The Annotated Big Sleep,” a captivating analysis of Raymond Chandler’s first Philip Marlowe book, and new Marlowe book “Only to Sleep,” authorized by the Chandler estate.” informs Meanwhile: Writing a new Marlowe book has been done before (by John Banville and Robert B. Parker).As devotees are aware (we know who we are), the plot of “The Big Sleep” involves a classic trio: murder, blackmail and corruption.The magic might be in Chandler’s prose, but the point here is to relish the sidebars.Raymond Chandler didn’t write the first hard-boiled detective novels, but his iconic Philip Marlowe became, and still is, the gold standard for gumshoes still walking down “these mean streets.”

“The Annotated Big Sleep” (Vintage, 512 pp., $25) is a captivating analysis of Chandler’s first Marlowe book.

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