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  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784706371
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

Only to Sleep

Philip Marlowe returns - this time penned by cult favourite Lawrence Osborne

Wealthy dead American. Beautiful young widow. This case has PI Philip Marlowe's name written all over it. Is it enough to bring him back for one last adventure?

The year is 1988. The place, Baja California. Private Investigator Philip Marlowe is living out his retirement sipping margaritas and playing cards when in saunter two men dressed like undertakers with a case that has his name written all over it.

His mission is to investigate Donald Zinn - supposedly drowned off his yacht, leaving a much younger and now very rich wife. Marlowe's speciality. But is Zinn actually alive? And are the pair living off the spoils?

'Osborne and Chandler are a perfect match' William Boyd

Discover the rest of the inimitable Philip Marlowe series - nine classic Chandler adventures, from The Big Sleep to The Long Goodbye, available now in paperback and ebook from Penguin Books.

  • Published: 16 July 2019
  • ISBN: 9781784706371
  • Imprint: Vintage
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 256
  • RRP: $19.99

About the author

Lawrence Osborne

Born in England, Lawrence Osborne is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The Forgiven, The Ballad of a Small Player, Hunters in the Dark, Beautiful Animals, Only to Sleep: A Philip Marlowe novel (commissioned by the Raymond Chandler estate) and The Glass Kingdom. His non-fiction ranges from memoir through travelogue to essays, including Bangkok Days, The Naked Tourist and The Wet and the Dry. His short story 'Volcano' was selected for Best American Short Stories 2012.

The Forgiven
, starring Ralph Fiennes, Matt Smith and Jessica Chastain, is due to be released in summer 2022; Hunters in the Dark will shoot in Cambodia with Aneurin Barnard, Adam Pettyfer and Tzi Ma; and Beautiful Animals is now in production with Amazon. Osborne lives in Bangkok.


Also by Lawrence Osborne

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Praise for Only to Sleep

It's a joy to see Philip Marlowe lured back for one last job by the gleefully unsentimental Lawrence Osborne... If you like noir, pour yourself something cool and enjoy one final dark night of the soul

Joseph Knox, author of Sirens

Osborne has mastered Chandler's gift for metaphor.and deepens Marlowe's psyche as he responds to "a sad summons from the depths of his own wasted past"

Publishers Weekly

A brilliant Raymond Chandler continuation novel with an ageing Philip Marlowe. Osborne and Chandler are a perfect match

William Boyd, Guardian

An exhilarating talent...one of our finest writers

Francesca Angelini, Sunday Times

Lawrence Osborne, an accomplished writer of fiction and nonfiction, has been asked to imagine a new case for Philip Marlow and -- have a smell from the barrel, all you gunsels and able grables -- it crackles...brisk and disarming

Laura Lipman, New York Times Book Review

Osborne succeeds brilliantly... captures the dreamlike quality of the original Marlowe novels

Bruce deSilva, Daily Mail

Superb... Osborne's dialogue and description echo Chandler's wit and world-weariness with uncanny skill

Mark Sanderson, Evening Standard

The decayed grandeur of the setting, the mystery of an alluring femme fatale, an old man's tussle with his conscience and his ageing body, and a healthy number of spectacular set-pieces work a subtle magic... both a convincing Marlowe and a seedily satisfying thriller

Andrew Holgate, Sunday Times

Obviously a lover of Chandler's work, Osborne has written a novel of excellence, with a good, slightly chaotic plot (as, often, were Chandler's) and some wonderful atmosphere

Marcel Berlins, The Times

The tone here is elegiac, the pace relaxed. If you've missed Marlowe, you'll find this a worthy addition to the canon

Barry Forshaw, Guardian

The most enjoyable book I've read in a long time. I enjoyed it more than the original. it's Lawrence Osborne being just brilliant

Katie Law, Monocle Culture Show

I'm lost in admiration for what Lawrence Osborne has done here. he's created a brilliant standalone novel. it's a wonderful book

John Mitchinson, Monocle Culture Show

A gripping, elegantly written crime story about age and decline. with its blend of mystery and humanity it's exactly the sort of novel [Raymond Chandler] would have been pleased to inspire

Tom Williams, Spectator

Osborne's continuation of Raymond Chandler feels like the real thing


[Only to Sleep] is compelling and Osborne often captures Marlowe's voice

Paul Connolly, Metro

A new Philip Marlowe story based on Raymond Chandler's creation. Marlowe is the man I want to be, both the book character and as played by Humphrey Bogart on film. Here is Marlowe at 72... which just happens to be my age

Terry Deary, Daily Mail

Osborne gets Chandler and his version of the enduring detective, Philip Marlowe, is the best I've read... This mystery is well plotted and plays out with a twist to satisfy the readers who figure things out for themselves but still like to be surprised. if Osborne were to write another Marlowe thriller. I will be there to read it


A valedictory investigation, complete with sinister bad guys and a memorable femme fatale

John Williams, Mail on Sunday

Osborne's brilliant innovation is to show us Philip Marlowe as an old man in the late eighties, retired to Mexico. Marlowe's got one last job: looking for a man called Zinn

Mail on Sunday

Philip Marlowe is back in a seedily satisfying thriller on the US-Mexican border

Sunday Times

This is the best Marlowe novel I have read apart from the master's own works... it's the only one I can imagine Chandler liking

Jake Kerridge, Daily Telegraph, **Books of the Year**

Osborne does a fine job in giving Marlowe a fresh assignment in this evocative, melancholy homage. Only to Sleep is more than a detective story. It is also a meditation on ageing and how, even in the autumn of a man's life, he still is driven to pit his skills and courage against dangerous adversaries

Adam LeBor, Financial Times

A highly distinctive writer who quickly becomes addictive. I loved it

John Gray, New Statesman, **Books of the Year**


Mail on Sunday

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