Ted Malvern/Ted Carmady

Created by Raymond Chandler

“Ted Carmady liked the rain; liked the feel of it, the sound of it, the smell of it. He got out of his LaSalle coupe and stood for a while by the side entrance to the Carondelet, the high collar of his blue suede ulster tickling his ears, his hands in his pockets and a limp cigarette sputtering between his lips. Then he went in past the barbershop and the drugstore and the perfume shop with its rows of delicately lighted bottles, ranged like the ensemble in the finale of a Broadway musical.”
Guns at Cyranos”

Got a pencil? You might want to take some notes here…

TED MALVERN‘s one and only appearance was in the pulp story “Guns at Cyrano’s,” which first appeared in the November 1935 issue of Black Mask. He was yet another of Chandler’s dry runs at a character.

But Chandler subsequently changed Ted Malvern’s name to TED CARMADY, when the story was collected in the 1950 collection, The Simple Art of Murder. Most of the detective character’s names in the other stories were changed to Philip Marlowe (This made commercial sense, since Marlowe was the character he was best known for, and, in this way, Houghton Miflin could promote the book as a collection of Marlowe stories, which, judging from the dust jacket description of the book in its earlier editions, is exactly what they did.

Still, this particular name change misled many into thinking that the single-named Carmady who had already shown up in several Black Mask stories, was named “Ted Carmady.”


But Ted Malvern was significantly different from Marlowe that they couldn’t simply rename him “Marlowe”–Malvern actually had a past. Although he too was a private eye, he was the son of Marcus Malvern, the son of a powerful and corrupt man who once controlled San Angelo (aka “los Angeles”).

I suspect Chandler decided to change Malvern and Mallorys names (Mallory was another of his pulp characters) because it was too similar to “Marlowe” (Chandler seemed to have a thing for those M-A-L names).

For those of you playing along at home, some of the other names Chandler used for his loner P.I. hero included John Dalmas and John Evans.


  • “Guns at Cyranos” (November 1935, Black Mask)
Respectfully submitted by Jim Doherty, with additional snark porovided by Kevin Burton Smith.

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