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Clyde Umney instructs him to meet the eight o'clock train from Chicago, and shadow one of the passengers. The lady in question, Eleanor King, is beautiful, classy and clearly unhappy. Obediently, Marlowe follows her - all the way to Esmerelda, where she's going under the name Betty Mayfield and being leaned on by a cheap blackmailer.
Raymond Chandler was born in Chicago in 1888. He was educated at Dulwich College, London and studied international law in France and Germany. He published a number of poems and essays in local papers and worked as a reporter, essayist, and book reviewer. After serving for the Canadian Army during World War I he became a bookkeeper and auditor for Dabney Oil Syndicate. In 1939 he published The Big Sleep to instant acclaim in Britain and the US, introducing the world to his iconic private eye, Philip Marlowe. With Farewell My Lovely and The Long Goodbye, Chandler cemented his reputation as a giant of American popular culture and master of a style of detective fiction that would be widely admired and imitated. Chandler turned to screenwriting with Double Indemnity. He continued to write for Hollywood during the heyday of the Hollywood studio system, receiving an Oscar nomination for The Blue Dahlia. In 1946 Chandler received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for screenplay and in 1954 for novel writing. During the last year of his life he was made President of the Mystery Writers of America. He died from pneumonia in 1959.