Chandler often reused characters and situations this way. Among other things, the practice encourages readers to compare the stories to the novels and to wonder, “What if Chandler had done things differently?"
“Killer in the Rain” includes the smut bookstore, the blackmail, the shooting on Laverne Terrace, the car plunging off the pier, and the wayward daughter readers will know and love from The Big Sleep. The young woman's name is Carmen in both versions. In the novel, she's Carmen Sternwood, daughter of Gen. Guy Sternwood, an oil millionaire. In the story the father is a more quintessentially American self-made man:
“Dravec, Anton or Tony. Former Pittsburgh steelworker, truck guard, all-around muscle stiff. Made a wrong pass and got shut up. Left town, came West. Worked on an avocado ranch at El Seguro. Came up with a ranch of his own. Sat right on the dome when the El Seguro oil boom burst. Got rich. Lost a lot of it buying into other people's dusters. Still has enough. Serbian by birth, six feet, two hundred and forty, one daughter, never known to have had a wife. No police record of any consequence. None at all since Pittsburgh.”That's a character I'd like to have known more about.
In the meantime, what expressions have found their way from your books into your vocabulary? I've always loved one picturesque way that Andrea Camilleri has his protagonist, Inspector Salvo Montalbano, express exasperation:
“The inspector cursed the saints.”© Peter Rozovsky 2011
— The Wings of the Sphinx
“Cursing the saints, he flipped onto his back and did the dead man’s float.”
— Rounding the Mark
“Cursing the saints, he got up, went into the bathroom, turned on the shower, and lathered himself up. All at once the water ran out.”
— The Snack Thief