This Blog Has Moved

Hi guys, I’ve decided to move this blog to You can find out more about A Mysterious Something In The Light my biography of Raymond Chandler there.





LA Noire and Raymond Chandler (Part 1)

Much to my girlfriend’s frustration, I love to play video games. Happy chance then that Rockstar Games and Team Bondi are about to release LA Noire, a game set in 1940s Los Angeles where you get to play an LAPD cop solving crimes throughout the city. Watch the trailer below, it’s pretty awesome:

There’s been much talk about how this is a new type of game because LA Noire uses some pretty special technology but that doesn’t interest me. This is a game for fans of Raymond Chandler. Rockstar Games have already published this ebook in the US full of new stories about the city but they also have said that the game is full of Chandler references. And how could it not be? If you’re going to create a game – or a movie for that matter – set in 1940s LA you cannot escape Chandler. In novels like The Little Sister and The High Window he exposed the dark side of a city that he knew so well. LA was supposed to be a city of glitz and glamour, of starlets and heroes, but that was only one side of it. It was also a place of murder, blackmail and corruption.

I will be picking my copy of LA Noire up tomorrow and will try to post as many Chandler references as I can spot. But if you’re a fan of the game and want to know about the city and the period it features, don’t forget to check out Raymond Chandler’s novels. Start with The Big Sleep and Farwell, My Lovely and then The Little Sister. These are the standard that LA Noire has to live up to.

Publishing And The Agency Model

Occasionally I write for a blog run by The Bookseller called Futurebook and I thought I’d copy my latest post for them here as well. You can see the original here if you want or feel free to comment below.

A few weeks ago Annette Green blogged about how the agency model ran the risk of undermining the legitimate digital publishing market because it could result in ebooks costing more than the physical edition and she used several examples of ebooks costing more than physical books (Stephen Fry’s memoir for one) to make her point. On the surface of it this seems like a clear cut case against the agency model however the recent launch of the Beatles albums on iTunes may show that the model still has something to offer. Continue reading

Julian Pascal

The funny thing about records is that the authors of them and their subjects are rarely consistent. I’ve been researching Julian Pascal, Cissy’s first husband, and it’s proven to be complicated stuff. For one thing, Pascal changed his name from Goodridge Bowen to Julian Pascal at some point and he sometimes uses his original surname coupled with his new one, though rarely. Continue reading

Happy Bloomsday


James Joyce

Today is the 16th of June, Bloomsday, the day that James Joyce chose to set his great novel Ulysses and also the day that he met his wife, Nora Barnacle, for the first time. It’s worth celebrating if you’re a Joycian. Continue reading

Getting Things Wrong

The trouble with research is that it can often take you down blind alleys. Take yesterday, for example, I spent most of the morning reading Civil War records because I thought that Eugene R. Hurlburt – Cissy’s father – had fought for the Yankees in the Civil War. Continue reading

Google and The Ebook

When I’m not working on Chandler I work in publishing and I’ve just written this blog post on google and the ebook for which I though I’d share.