The last Philip Marlowe mystery novel completed by Chandler, set in a resort town on the coast of California. Marlowe is to follow a woman named Eleanor King, newly arrived in Los Angeles. Whether this is her real name is only one of the mysteries in store for Marlowe. At one point, a woman asks Marlowe, "How can such a hard man be so gentle?" He replies, "If I wasn't hard, I wouldn't be alive. If I couldn't ever be gentle, I wouldn't deserve to be alive." And, in a rare happy ending for a Marlowe story, a lost love (from "The Long Goodbye") is found again.