Compared with fellow Black Mask writers Cornell Woolrich and Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler was a man with a successful career, a working set of social skills, and a downright chatty (one might even say "jaunty") writing style. His books all feature Philip Marlowe, a 38-year-old private eye with a strong code of honor and very little luck with the ladies. (Nice ladies, anyway.) Chandler write seven novels, assorted short stories, some really bad poetry in his early twenties and several movie scripts, including half of the script for the film Double Indemnity. Despite some seriously murky plotting, his books have become noir classics.
Note: On the up side, if you've ever gotten hopelessly confused watching the film version of The Big Sleep (a story about murder, a pornographic lending library, and two socialite sisters whose adventures make the Hilton sisters look like the Bush twins), don't feel bad. According to reports, Chandler had no idea what was going on either and actually had to ask who had murdered one of the minor characters.
Aftertaste: But on the down side, the movie isn't that much more confusing than the book. Chandler's stories tend to be long on atmosphere but kinda short on coherent plot structure.