I am reading The Galton Case, by Ross Macdonald. I had never read any Macdonald before, a curious omission, as I love mysteries and RM was writing since the 1940's; indeed, The Galton Case came out while I was a college sophomore. It's a Lew Archer novel. Archer is the quintessential detective, modeled on the famous detectives of Dashiell Hammet and RaymondChandler, but with a more polished and psychological aspect. Indeed, Eudora Welty, in a 1971 review, said of RM's style, "The style that works so well to produce fluidity and grace also suggests a mind much given to contemplation and reflection on our world." The Macdonald language is spare and elegant, and features some of the wonderful similes later parodied by the likes of Garrison Keillor with his Guy Noir radio skits.
Here's an example from The Galton Case:
The lawn was the color of the ink they use to print the serial numbers on banknotes.
How delightful. This tells us that not only is the lawn green, but we are about to hear a story in which great financial wealth is a theme.
OK, Alice, get over it. Maybe it's time for a green warp. Meanwhile, I have a mystery to finish.