I liked Farewell, My Lovely more than The Big Sleep. The plot was unpredictable as usual, and I like how Chandler doesn't weave everything together until the end. Leaves me guessing wildly as to how it will all turn out. However, the plot was still a bit confusing, though I didn't have the same difficulty in keep all the characters straight as in The Big Sleep.
Anne seemed to take a backseat - I thought she was going to have more of a starring role, or at least a larger connection with the story, and I am wondering if Chandler just introduced her to have her appear in later novels? This is only the 2nd Marlowe story I have read. However, she seemed rather ambiguous, especially her reckless abandon into danger when she doesn't have much of a cause other than her father used to be a cop.
The intricacy of the ploy was excellent. At the end, it still wasn't particularly straightforward, but that is how life is. Chandler appears to be writing a running commentary on his perception of the police, either inept or corrupt, and uses Marlowe as the answer, although Marlowe himself isn't so clean and nice. I never did figure out what the title was referring to, unless it was the events at the very end with Mrs. Grayle.
By the way, I never had a clue that Mrs. Grayle and Velma were the same person! Unless I wasn't paying attention to something earlier it totally got me by surprise, and I feel a little silly about it.
One thing I don't get is why Marlowe will approach someone he knows is guilty and tell them everything. Sure, it does make it clear if they are guilty or not, but he is staying alive by pure luck, and I guess that is because this is a novel. Considering how "murder-ful" all the other characters are it is hard to believe he always comes away with a broken nose and a bump on the head.
The part on the boats at the end confused me a bit. And again, how is Marlowe getting out alive each and every time?
Yes, this book is racist, just like the last one, but I think it is just a remnant of the time period, and I don't think it is done purposefully or with intention to hate. But it is something to keep in mind when reading that terms and stereotypes do come up that a reader might be uncomfortable reading.