The Imaginary Blonde by Ross MacDonald
First published in Manhunt, February, 1953.
Published by Wonder Publishing Group Books, Northville, MI 48167.
Copyright 2010 by Wonder Publishing Group
How do you pin a murder on a woman who doesn’t exist?
That’s the problem P.I. Lew Archer has to solve in order to escape a case he’s less than thrilled about having taken.
This short story was first published in February of 1953 in Manhunt, a pulp fiction magazine. This story has most of the elements of the classic crime noir story. Archer plays the role of hardened, cynical hard boiled private investigator. Female trouble looms everywhere in this story, ranging from the titular Imaginary Blonde to a pretty latina who works as a housekeeper for a roadside motel once so common in the United States.
If you are new to the genre known as crime noir, this short story would be a good introduction. MacDonald captures the dark themes prevalent in noir stories. Murder is not the only sin found in this story as the plot plays out with its share of lies, deception and disloyalty.