It's rained less than .09 inches in nine months in southern California and is utterly and completely crispy dry right now. The Santa Anas are blowing, the palm fronds are swaying, Sophie is having more seizures, and it's time for the Raymond Chandler.
There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot, dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that, every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks. Anything can happen. You can even get a full glass of beer at a cocktail lounge.
Raymond Chandler, from Red Wind