Killer in the Rain by Raymond Chandler
'I pushed her back into the house without saying anything, shut the door. We stood looking at each other inside. She dropped her hand slowly and tried to smile. Then all expression went out of her white face and it looked as intelligent as the bottom of a shoe box...I lit my cigarette, puffed it slowly for a moment and then asked: What are you doing here? Before creating Philip Marlowe, Raymond Chandler perfected the hardboiled private detective story in the pages of Blask Mask magazine - tough, spare tales of gumshoes and murder, laced with a weary lyricism and deadpan, laconic wit. 'Killer in the Rain' is vintage Chandler, the groundwork for his classic first novel The Big Sleep.