Study Guide

The Big Sleep Chapter 14

By Raymond Chandler

Chapter 14

  • Marlowe goes to Joe Brody's apartment building and knocks on Apartment 405. Brody lets him in when Marlowe says that he knows about Geiger's racket and has a list of his customers. 
  • Brody has a gun pointed at Marlowe, and guess who else is in the room. The blond from Geiger's shop, Agnes Lozelle. The blondes in this novel sure do get around.
  • Agnes initially denies Marlowe's accusations about the porn business Geiger was running. But Marlowe explains that others think that Brody had a good motive for killing Geiger in order to take over the porn racket. 
  • Marlowe also says that he knows Brody was the one who sent the blackmail letter to Vivian, that he has the naked photos of Carmen, and that Agnes was the woman who phoned Vivian. Not bad guesswork, Mr. Marlowe.
  • Brody cracks under the pressure and reveals an important clue. He asks whether the "witness" Marlowe mentioned regarding Geiger's murder was the "punk kid" who works at the store. Marlowe has no idea who this kid is yet, and neither do we.… mystery abounds!
  • Marlowe eventually realizes that Brody is telling the truth about not being the murderer. Brody explains that Carmen hates him after he broke up with her.
  • Apparently she can't handle rejection too well. 
  • Marlowe convinces Brody to hand over the pictures, but as he reaches for them, the doorbell rings.