Hard Boiled Mystery Writers arrived yesterday, and I can see myself dipping into frequently it for fun and inspiration. Perhaps it will be unfair to compare and contrast any modern author with these greats, but who cares.
Chandler said of his detective Philip Marlowe:
"He is neither tarnished nor afraid. He must be a complete man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor....I think he might seduce a duchess and I am quite sure he would not spoil a virgin."
This seems rather a dated statement, but strangely reminiscent to me of the mixture of chivalry and corruption in stories of Alexandre Dumas. Our modern world would be a lot nicer place to live in with a few Marlowes and D'Artagnans around to clean up the mess.
Perhaps that is why we read crime fiction?