Raymond Chandler's Ten Commandments For the Detective Novel
By Raymond Chandler
based on Chandler's "Twelve Notes on the Mystery Story" from The Notebooks of Raymond Chandler
These "ten commandments" are truncated versions of Chandler's longer thoughts on mystery writing. The original Twelve Notes on the Mystery Story appear in his notebooks along with 13 addenda to the notes.
Raymond Thornton Chandler (July 23, 1888 – March 26, 1959) was an American-British novelist and screenwriter. In 1932, at the age of forty-four, Chandler became a detective fiction writer after losing his job as an oil company executive during the Great Depression. In addition to his short stories, Chandler published seven novels during his lifetime.
Chandler had an immense stylistic influence on American popular literature. He is considered to be a founder of the hard-boiled school of detective fiction, along with Dashiell Hammett, James M. Cain and other Black Mask writers. The protagonist of his novels, Philip Marlowe, like Hammett's Sam Spade, is considered by some to be synonymous with "private detective."