This section contains 2,960 words
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Trouble Is My Business Summary & Study Guide Description
Trouble Is My Business Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:
This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion on Trouble Is My Business by Raymond Chandler.
Philip Marloweappears in All Four Stories
Philip Marlowe is a private detective of some reputation. Philip has brown eyes that are warm and flecked with gold. Philip is just over six feet tall and weighs about one hundred and ninety five pounds. He lives in an apartment complex called the Berglund on the fourth floor. Philip is a decent man, who lives by a code that is fair and mostly honest.
Philip is the kind of private detective that will put himself out on a limb or in harm's way to help almost any woman who asks him for aid. He isn't afraid to bill for his services, but sometimes finds himself working for free because circumstances don't lend themselves to billing. Trouble is his business, although he is often so surrounded by it, that he prefers not to use the tag line as much as he once did.
In the course of this novel, Philip is shot, punched, followed, and lied to. He often finds himself doing the job of the police for them, despite their lack of respect for him. He is tough and competent, intelligent and resourceful.
Harriet Huntressappears in Trouble Is My Business
Harriet Huntress is a red-headed woman with what some would refer to as bedroom eyes. She acts as a shill for a gambler and Philip Marlowe has been hired to deal with her. Harriet lives in the nineteen hundred block of North Sycamore in the El Milano.
Harriet's father jumped from his office window after going broke in 1931. Harriet has eyes that are the same kind of blue as a lapis-lazuli. They are wide set and intelligent. She has dusky red hair and her make up is applied with skill. She is just a little too tall to be considered cute and smokes using a three-inch mouth piece.
Harriet and her family were once in the Social Register and Jeeter had ruined them to such a degree that her father committed suicide. Now, with a younger sister in school in the East and she is willing to even marry Jeeter's adopted sun
Mr. Gerald Jeeter (Senior)appears in Trouble Is My Business
Mr. Jeeter is a wealthy man who hires Anna Halsey to help him discourage a shill named Harriet Huntress who has managed to get her hooks into his adopted son. He is a tall man with white blond hair. His face is keen and sharp, although his eyes have small pouches under them and his lips are a little on the thick side for the rest of his face. He is well dressed, carrying a thin, platinum octagonal watch, sporting a pink rosebud in his lapel, and carrying a cane made of ebony with a silver knob on top. His shoes are spats and his age looks to be around sixty.
Mr. Jeeter is used to getting his own way and doesn't appreciate being kept waiting for anyone. He is described by those who work for him as a man so tight his head squeaks when his hat is removed. Jeeter owns an assortment of investment companies.
Anna Halseyappears in Trouble Is My Business
Anna Halsey is approximately two hundred and forty pounds. She is a middle-aged woman who has eyes that are as black as buttons and a soft, ruddy complexion. Anna is a detective, but makes her living in a way that doesn't get her hands dirty. When more is required from her, she farms out the work she requires to those more suited to field work. She smokes cigarettes in a long, black holder.
John D. Arbogastappears in Trouble Is My Business
Arbogast is the expert who was hired by Anna Halsey to authenticate a selection of photostats taken of fifty thousand dollars worth of notes that Mr. Jeeter's son gave to Marty Estel. John is incredibly overweight. Even larger than Anna Halsey, John has a face that resembles a pink basketball. He has gray hair that is cut short and his dark suit is in need of a cleaning. His neck is a series of folds and his small feet are tucked into shiny black shoes.
Marty Estelappears in Trouble Is My Business
Marty is a gambler who works with a red headed shill named Harriet Huntress. While not known for violence, Marty has a reputation for being a bit of a tough guy. Marty is tall, has dark hair and has a dangerous, but suave air about him. Marty holds a five thousand dollar gambling note against Jeeter junior.
Gladysappears in Trouble Is My Business
Gladys is Anna Halsey's receptionist/secretary. She has blond hair, and is a tall woman. She is a looker, and even Marlowe can't help asking if she has a steady guy. The question isn't well received by Anna who promptly informs Philip that she is worth eighteen thousand dollars a year in divorce business, and any interference, even by Marlowe would be cause for cremation.
Gerald Jeeter appears in Trouble Is My Business
Junior is a large, blond man, red faced from too much alcohol. He plays a reasonable game of golf and thinks he is a gift to womankind everywhere. Junior comes into a substantial amount of money - five million dollars - once he turns twenty eight and his estate comes out of trust. Until then, he lives on an allowance of one thousand dollars a month.
Frisky Lavonappears in Trouble Is My Business
Frisky is a punk who has bristly red hair and bat like ears. His feet are small and he wears dirty white sneakers, looking somewhat like a terrier. His gun looks too big and he smells of menthol. He breathes noisily through his mouth.
Waxnoseappears in Trouble Is My Business
Waxnose is a tall man who wears his hat low in the front. His face is wedge shaped and pointed at the end the same way an ace of spades looks at the bottom. His eyes are dark and his nose is unusually white. He carries a Colt Woodsman that has the sight filed off making the barrel look even longer, confident of his ability to shoot accurately. Waxnose allows Frisky to hang around with him, helping to keep him safe by controlling his actions. He never lets Frisky carry a loaded weapon, taking the firing pin out to ensure he doesn't act too impulsively.
Georgeappears in Trouble Is My Business
George is the driver sent by Jeeter senior to pick Philip up after he is surprised in his apartment by Waxnose and Frisky. He is tall, and broad shouldered with wavy, dark brown hair and eyebrows. His teeth are clean and white and his eyes are black and glitter with intelligence. George is college educated, having attended Dartmouth, having paid for his education with three square meals and a uniform. He is an excellent marksman, and describes himself as a man who takes chances.
George smokes, and wears a peaked cap with a Russian tunic and Sam Browne belt.
Detective Lieutenant Finlaysonappears in Trouble Is My Business
Detective Finlayson works out of Central Homicide. He is older than Sebold, and looks like the kind of policeman who has failed to advance.
Ben Seboldappears in Trouble Is My Business
Sebold has salt and pepper hair, and is younger and better looking than Finlayson. Together they question Philip Marlowe about the death of Frisky Lavon. Ben is less than patient during this questioning, partially because his wife left him two days earlier.
Fenweatherappears in Finger Man
Fenweather is a district attorney who looks the part. He has gray temples - the kind that appeal to women, and his features are chiseled and severe.
Frank Dorrappears in Finger Man
Frank is large in the political scene. He is often referred to as a fixer - the man you would need to see if you had any desire to run girls, gambling, or even just sell honest goods in the city. He is such a large man that he waddles when he walks. He has a fat face and just a fringe of white hair that sticks up in places. He has small, sharp eyes and his hands are small and delicate. He is partial to a large black Persian cat named Toby that he refers to as his only girlfriend.
Bernie Ohlsappears in Finger Man
Chief investigator for district attorney Fenweather. Bernie is of medium size, and has white eyebrows. He is a bland man with a deeply cleft and out thrust chin. Bernie smokes small cigars.
Louis N. Hargerappears in Finger Man
Lou is a very good looking young man with red, full lips, dark hair and eyebrows. His skin is olive and clear. Lou recently was forced to close his gambling establishment because he was unable to cover the 'tax' money that it cost him to operate in town. Lou has a way to regain some of the money he lost. He discovers that Canales has purchased one of his old roulette wheels - a wheel he knows well, and can beat. His plan is to play, and take Canales for as much as he can, but he needs Marlowe to watch his back. The plan works and he and his lady friend manage to win almost twenty two thousand dollars, but Lou will never be able to spend it. He is found dead, shot once in the chest, the next morning.
Art Shannonappears in Finger Man
Victim of murder that Manny Tinnen is indicted for after Philip Marlowe's testimony to the grand jury. Art was shot full of lead and then pushed out of a car by Manny who cut the ropes on wrists before leaving. Art was a straight shooter who kept the Board in line and without him, the grafters would have a much easier time of things.
Miss Glennappears in Finger Man
A tall red headed girl, she is not quite described as beautiful, but definitely more than just pretty. She looks to be about thirty years old.
Canalesappears in Finger Man
Canales is a slight and pale looking man who has black hair that is straight and lusterless. His forehead is high and bony, and his eyes flat and impenetrable. He has a thin mustache trimmed in two even lines that come down below his mouth by an inch. His overall appearance is a combination of Oriental and Negroid. He walks with economy of motion, and his feet turned outward a fair distance, increase his Negroid appearance.
Tom Sneydappears in Finger Man
Taxi driver for the Green Top Cab company who traded vehicles for an hour with Lou in exchange for a hundred dollars.
Kathy Horneappears in Goldfish
Kathy is a former policewoman who is now a seedy looking, sad eyed blond. Kathy is a tall woman with china blue eyes who made the mistake of marrying a check bouncer named Johnny, thinking she would be able to reform him. Now, she works at the Mansion House, manning the cigar counter. She has a soft heart.
Sol Leanderappears in Goldfish
Sol is a lumberman from the north who purchased a pair of pearls for his wife worth two hundred thousand dollars. They are subsequently stolen from a mail truck and now have a twenty five thousand dollar reward attached to them.
Wally Sypeappears in Goldfish
Wally is a thief who was caught after robbing a mail truck and shooting the driver nineteen years earlier. He spent fifteen years in Leavenworth before being offered parole if he would return the goods he stole. He returns everything but the Leander pearls, claiming they were never part of his heist, and the parole board believes him and sets him free. One time, in all the years he was in jail, he drank too much and told his cell mate that he buried the pearls in Idaho. Wally is married to Hattie and now lives in Westport, trying to put the past behind him.
Peeler Mardoappears in Goldfish
Peeler is an ex-con who is rooming at Kathy Horne's house. He talks in his sleep and when Kathy questioned him, he admitted to being an ex-con and to the inside information gleaned from Wally when they shared a cell. He claims to know where Sype is. Peeler is a small man, standing only five foot four inches in height. He has brown, thin hair and his ears look larger than they should be.
Rush Madderappears in Goldfish
Rush is best described as an ambulance chaser. He's a lawyer who works out of the Quorn Building in room 619. Rush is thick set man, fifty years of age, with an oily complexion and a round, soft chin. He is about five feet nine inches tall and weighs about a hundred and eighty pounds. He has heavy, black eyebrows and a mustache like Charlie Chan - the latter making his face look even fatter than it already was. His hair is thinning on top and he isn't much for bravery. His fingers betray a nicotine habit.
Carol Donovanappears in Goldfish
A friend of Rush Madder's, Carol is the wren that called Marlowe suggesting he go to see Rush about a man and some feet. She had seen Marlowe go into Kathy's house, and come out again. No police had been called afterward. Carol has slate gray eyes that are cold and lighthearted at the same time. She has shiny, long black hair that she wears in a long bob and her face is young, delicate, and hard as a chisel at the same time. Carol is between twenty five and twenty eight years old and weighs about a hundred and twenty pounds.
Lew Petrolleappears in Red Wind
Lew has just opened a bar located right across the street from the Berglund apartments where Marlowe lives. He opens on a shoestring budget of just eight hundred dollars, and is so strapped financially that he doesn't even have a phone yet. Lew is in his early twenties, and looks out of place as a bartender. He is responsible for his age, worrying about his customers when they've obviously had too much. Lew's father used to own a grape ranch in Contra Costa County near Antioch. It is his gift of a thousand dollars that Lew uses to open his new business.
Lew isn't as rattled by the murder in his bar as he could have been. By the time they are ready to leave the police station, he is already seeing the upside, knowing that when word of the murder gets out, people will come into his bar just to get his first hand account of the story.
Detective Lieutenant Copernikappears in Red Wind
Copernik is a large man with a long jaw. He is raw-boned and has the glassy eyes and veined nose of a heavy drinker. He looks as though he might think he is a little tougher than he really is. He has blond, ratty looking hair and wears a felt hat. His face is long, mean, and horse-like. Copernik is interested in both the woman that was described, and in the timing and circumstances surrounding 'Waldo's' death.
Ybarraappears in Red Wind
The second of the first two detectives to arrive, he is short and smooth in appearance. He has black, curly hair and intelligent, soft eyes.
Mrs. Frank C. Barsaly (Lola)appears in Red Wind
Mrs. Barsaly is a tall young woman with wavy brown hair and wide, blue eyes and long eyelashes. She is wearing a straw hat with a wide brim, velvet band and loose bow; a blue dress that could have been described as crepe silk, and a jacket that could be a print bolero jacket. Her voice is soft and light and she smells faintly of sandalwood.
Her husband is a hydroelectric engineer who works all over the world. They live at two-twelve Fremont Place.
Joseph Coates (aka 'Waldo' Ratigan)appears in Red Wind
Waldo is tall at five foot eleven inches or so with dark, brown eyes. He is slim and to Marlowe his mouth and nose appear to be too thin. He is wearing a dark suit revealing a white handkerchief in his top pocket. Joseph was a chauffeur who lived on the third floor of the same building as Marlowe lived in - the Berglund apartments.
According to the 'drunk' man, Joseph talked to police and caused him four years in Michigan for a bank job they pulled. He was the getaway driver.
Al Tessilore (Drunk from bar)appears in Red Wind
He has bright but shallow eyes, somewhat like a lizard, and his hairline ends right where a hat would normally begin. His voice is hoarse and soft, as though he had been hit in the windpipe at some point in his life. Al pretends to be past his alcoholic limit until Joseph Coates comes into the bar. Then, suddenly sober, Al shoots Joseph dead to repay him for snitching on his about a bank robbery, yielding him four years in a Michigan prison.
Stan Phillipsappears in Red Wind
Mrs. Lola Barsaly's lover is a man who was killed in a plane crash after giving Lola fifteen thousand dollars worth of pearls.
Miss Kolchenkoappears in Red Wind
Miss Kolchenko is a tall, lean brunette with thick black hair that she wears parted down the middle. Her cheekbones are rouged, and her toenails are gilded. She has a large mouth, red rimmed eyes, and wears miniature temple bells as earrings. She smokes using a long cigarette holder. She is of Russian descent and looks tough.
Frank Barsalyappears in Red Wind
A large, blond, hard-looking man, Frank weighs about two hundred pounds. He has gray eyes that are colorless as ice and a solid voice. His skin is tanned.
This section contains 2,960 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)