The story keeps going for those characters, but I could happily stop there.
Thanks Wikipedia Entry On Raymond Chandler:
In his introduction to Trouble Is My Business (1950), a collection of twelve of his short stories, Chandler provided insight on the formula for the detective story and how the pulp magazines differed from previous detective stories:
- The emotional basis of the standard detective story was and had always been that murder will out and justice will be done. Its technical basis was the relative insignificance of everything except the final denouement. What led up to that was more or less passage work. The denouement would justify everything. The technical basis of the Black Mask (a pulp Chandler worked for) type of story on the other hand was that the scene outranked the plot, in the sense that a good plot was one which made good scenes. The ideal mystery was one you would read if the end was missing. We who tried to write it had the same point of view as the film makers. When I first went to Hollywood a very intelligent producer told me that you couldn't make a successful motion picture from a mystery story, because the whole point was a disclosure that took a few seconds of screen time while the audience was reaching for its hat. He was wrong, but only because he was thinking of the wrong kind of mystery.
The "standard detective story" Chandler talks about is built on the classic drama--the end gives meaning to what came before: intellectually--the (single) puzzle is at last solved--and morally--the characters final actions tell you what the whole thing meant.
In a Chandler story, whatever meaning there is, it's right there in the words on every page.