In his notebooks, the ever-inventive Raymond Chandler kept a list of possible titles for books, all of which we think deserve to be written. According to Chandler scholar Frank MacShane Chandler’s interest in titles even led him to invent a writer, Aaron Klopstein, who committed suicide by Amazonian blowgun, but not before publishing two volumes of poetry (The Hydraulic Facelift and Cat Hairs in the Custard), a short story collection (Twenty Inches of Monkey) and two novels (Once More the Cicatrice and The Seagull Has No Friends).

We reprint Chandler’s unused titles here as a service to writers. Our personal favourite at Five Dials has to be The Lady with the Truck, but they all have distinctive merits – and most pull off that hardest of tricks: suggesting a story while also grabbing the potential reader’s attention.

The Man with the Shredded Ear
All Guns Are Loaded
Choice of Dessert
Return from Ruin
Here It Is Saturday
My Best to the Bride
The Man Who Loved the Rain
The Corpse Came in Person
Law Is Where You Buy It
The Porter Rose at Dawn
We All Liked Al
Fair With Some Rain
They Only Murdered Him Once
Too Late for Smiling
The Diary of a Loud Check Suit
Deceased When Last Seen
Quick, Hide the Body
A Night in the Ice Box
Goodnight and Goodbye
The Cool-Off
Uncle Watson Wants to Think
The Parson in the Parlor
Stop Screaming – It’s Me
No Third Act
Twenty Minutes’ Sleep
They Still Come Honest
Between Two Liars
The Lady with the Truck
The Black-Eyed Blonde
Thunder Bug
Everyone Says Good-bye Too Soon