Best 1942 Adventures (9)

By: Joshua Glenn
January 13, 2017

One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 1942 adventure novels. Happy 75th anniversary!


Raymond Chandler’s crime adventure The High Window.

In his third novel-length outing, private investigator Philip Marlowe is hired to recover a rare doubloon that’s gone missing. Was it stolen by the victim’s son — who owes a large sum of money to a nightclub owner? Or was it stolen by the son’s estranged ex-wife, or by one of her suspicious friends? Why is another private eye tailing Marlowe? The other detective turns up dead… and so does a rare coin dealer. Marlowe finds a doubloon — but his client claims she has already recovered the missing coin! This is when things get really weird. Why did the client’s deceased husband fall out of a high window? Why are people taking credit for crimes they didn’t commit?

Fun fact: Other Marlowe novels include The Big Sleep (1939), Farewell, My Lovely (1940), The Lady in the Lake (1943), The Little Sister (1949), and The Long Goodbye (1953). The High Window novel was adapted, by director Herbert I. Leeds, as the 1942 movie Time to Kill — starring Lloyd Nolan and Heather Angel.


Let me know if I’ve missed any 1942 adventures that you particularly admire.


Adventure, Lit Lists