Raymond Chandler on classic detective fiction begins with his criticism of Agatha Christie and Conan Doyle:
Raymond Chandler didn’t just write some of the best American detective fiction. He also wrote about the genre and in much the same hard-boiled style of his own Philip Marlowe. He takes no captives, whether he is writing about authors or readers. “Show me a man or woman who cannot stand mysteries,” wrote Chandler in 1949, “and I will show you a fool, a clever fool—perhaps—but a fool just the same.”As for the authors, he seems particularly to have disliked Agatha Christie, writing of one of her novels that “the whole setup for the crime requires such a fluky set of happenings that it could never seem real.” Chandler thought that “Conan Doyle showed no knowledge whatever of the organization of Scotland Yard’s men” and added that “Christie commits the same stupidities in our time.” “You do not fool the reader,” he added, “by hiding clues or faking character à la Christie.”
And he has an interesting view on detectives—that they shouldn’t get married.