The Big Sleep, by Raymond ChandlerRead about another book on the list.
Everyone seems to smoke in Chandler's novels, women often with particular panache. Philip Marlowe himself smokes with a kind of world-weary soulfulness, as when confronted by a sudden revelation in The Big Sleep. "I sat there and poisoned myself with cigarette smoke and listened to the rain and thought about it."
The Big Sleep also appears on Barry Forshaw's critic's chart of "six American noir masters" and on David Nicholls' list of favorite film adaptations.