The Big Sleep

Eddie Mars is a “well-dressed,” manicured racketeer who runs a casino called the Cypress Club in a suburb of L.A. He first meets Philip Marlowe when the two run into each other at the house of his tenant, Arthur Gwynn Geiger, after the latter’s murder. At first Mars is suspicious of Marlowe’s intentions, but learns to trust and respect the detective, although he always considers Marlowe a gun for hire rather than an equal. Mars hires Lash Canino to keep his wife, Mona, in hiding after he helps Mrs. Regan hide her murdered husband Rusty Regan’s body; after Mrs. Regan’s mentally unstable younger sister Carmen Sternwood shot Rusty in a fit of rage, Mars had created the story that Rusty and Mona ran off together, to protect them all. Mars is one of the L.A. criminal underworld’s elite, with his manicured hands reflecting his ability to stay out of the dirty work himself. He is often surrounded by hired thugs, and appears to have connections within the city police department, including Captain Gregory, demonstrating the corruption underlying the city’s day-to-day operations.

Eddie Mars Quotes in The Big Sleep

The The Big Sleep quotes below are all either spoken by Eddie Mars or refer to Eddie Mars. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Vintage edition of The Big Sleep published in 1939.
Chapter 13 Quotes

His eyes went narrow. The veneer had flaked off him, leaving a well-dressed hard boy with a Luger.

Related Characters: Philip Marlowe (speaker), Eddie Mars
Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 71
Explanation and Analysis:
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I know you, Mr. Mars. The Cypress Club at Las Olindas. Flash gambling for flash people. The local law in your pocket and a wellgreased line into L.A. In other words, protection.

Related Characters: Philip Marlowe (speaker), Eddie Mars, Arthur Gwynn Geiger
Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 72
Explanation and Analysis:
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The muzzle of the Luger looked like the mouth of the Second Street tunnel, but I didn’t move. Not being bullet proof is an idea I had had to get used to.

Related Characters: Philip Marlowe (speaker), Eddie Mars
Page Number: 73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 20 Quotes

He’s got friends in town, or he wouldn’t be what he is.

Page Number: 125
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 21 Quotes

Eddie Mars would have been very unlikely to involve himself in a double murder just because another man had gone to town with the blonde he was not even living with … If there had been a lot of money involved, that would be different. But fifteen grand wouldn't be a lot of money to Eddie Mars. He was no two-bit chiseler like Brody.

Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 128
Explanation and Analysis:
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I have my pipe line into headquarters, or I wouldn’t be here. I get them the way they happen, not the way you read them in the papers.

Related Characters: Eddie Mars (speaker), Philip Marlowe, Captain Al Gregory
Page Number: 131
Explanation and Analysis:
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I wish old Sternwood would hire himself a soldier like you on a straight salary, to keep those girls of his home at least a few nights a week.

Related Symbols: Knights, Money
Page Number: 133
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 28 Quotes

Once outside the law you’re all the way outside. You think he’s just a gambler. I think he’s a pornographer, a blackmailer, a hot car broker, a killer by remote control, and a suborner of crooked cops. He’s whatever looks good to him, whatever has the cabbage pinned to it. Don’t try to sell me on any high-souled racketeers. They don’t come in that pattern.

Related Characters: Philip Marlowe (speaker), Eddie Mars, Mona Mars
Page Number: 194
Explanation and Analysis:
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Chapter 30 Quotes

Being a copper I like to see the law win. I'd like to see the flashy well-dressed mugs like Eddie Mars spoiling their manicures in the rock quarry at Folsom, alongside of the poor little slum-bred hard guys that got knocked over on their first caper and never had a break since. That’s what I’d like. You and me both lived too long to think I’m likely to see it happen. Not in this town, not in any town half this size, in any part of this wide, green and beautiful U.S.A. We just don’t run our country that way.

Related Characters: Captain Al Gregory (speaker), Philip Marlowe, Eddie Mars, Mona Mars
Related Symbols: Money
Page Number: 204
Explanation and Analysis:
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Eddie Mars Character Timeline in The Big Sleep

The timeline below shows where the character Eddie Mars appears in The Big Sleep. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 11
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
...Regan explains Carmen was home ill last night, while she was losing at roulette at Eddie Mars’s casino. Mrs. Regan says the Sternwoods like to play games to lose—like marrying a... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...thinks she might have to borrow instead of asking the General for it. She says Eddie Mars might lend it to her. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Smiling, Mrs. Regan says Eddie ought to help her out as Mars’s wife ran away with her husband Rusty. Marlowe... (full context)
Chapter 13
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Eddie Mars stands at the front door, dressed smartly in an all gray suit. He takes... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
Mars asks if Geiger is home. Marlowe says he and Carmen are business acquaintances who found... (full context)
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Sighing, Mars says he knows something is wrong and threatens Marlowe to not obstruct him. Mars inspects... (full context)
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Sitting down at a desk in the room, Mars suggests calling the police. Marlowe agrees, calling Mars’s bluff. This displeases Mars, who asks Marlowe’s... (full context)
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Putting his gun away, Mars asks Marlowe if he has any theories on what happened. Marlowe responds with various scenarios,... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe tells Mars he knows exactly who he is—a well-protected and well-connected gangster who runs a casino and... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
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Mars calls in his men to check Marlowe. He tells the detective to open the door,... (full context)
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Confident that Marlowe is who he says he is, Mars tells him to “talk.” Marlowe doesn’t think the book thief is also the murderer, but... (full context)
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Mars gets frustrated with the constant back and forth in their conversation. He demands that Marlowe... (full context)
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Marlowe asks Mars how Mars’s missing wife is. Annoyed, Mars tells Marlowe to leave, and not to mention... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...second guy to pull a gun on the detective that day. Brody doesn’t know who Eddie Mars is. (full context)
Chapter 15
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...is uncomfortable too, as he doesn’t want to get involved with the police, or with Eddie Mars. Agnes is also tense. Brody gives Agnes a gun to point at Marlowe. He... (full context)
Chapter 18
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...the room of policeman everything that had happened, apart from Carmen threatening Joe Brody and Eddie Mars showing up at Geiger’s house. (full context)
Chapter 19
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
As Marlowe steps into the lobby of his apartment building, one of Eddie Mars’s men is waiting for him. Tired and irritable, Marlowe dares the man to get... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...phone rings as Marlowe holds a freshly made drink. He picks the phone up and Eddie Mars asks the detective if he has kept the racketeer’s name out of his report... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Mars asks Marlowe if the private detective is looking for the missing Rusty Regan. Frustrated, Marlowe... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
After Mars hangs up, Marlowe calls the Sternwood house and gets through to Mr. Norris. He leaves... (full context)
Chapter 20
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...but no one saw him leave. The car was later found in a private garage, Eddie Mars’s wife’s garage. It seems they disappeared around the same time. (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Marlowe asks for a photo of Eddie Mars’s wife, but the police don’t have one. Gregory offers Marlowe a picture of Rusty... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Gregory’s theory is Mars’s wife and Regan ran off together, as they never found her car. As such, he... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
The Captain considers Marlowe a little more, and asks if he really thinks Eddie Mars killed both his own wife (Mona) and Rusty. Marlowe agrees with Gregory that the... (full context)
Chapter 21
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...he had gone to the police in the first place. Marlowe agrees with Gregory that Mars is probably too smart to kill both Rusty and his own wife (Mona) out of... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Marlowe thinks to himself that Mrs. Regan and Eddie have a good relationship, not just because she spends money at his casino, but because... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...tied up, and that the sensible option would be to move on. Instead, he calls Eddie Mars to tell him the detective will head down to the casino that evening.  (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...evening, Marlowe arrives at the “outwardly shabby” Cypress Club in an L.A. suburb. One of Mars’s men escorts Marlowe into the boss’s office. Mars and Marlowe shake hands, and the detective... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe admits to coming to the casino during Prohibition. Mars tells the detective that Mrs. Regan is in the casino right then, winning on roulette.... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Mars tells Marlowe indirectly that he knows the detective got information from the Missing Persons Bureau... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Sipping his drink, Mars asks Marlowe if he’s looking for Rusty Regan. Marlowe responds noncommittally, adding that General Sternwood... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe explains he wants to rule Rusty Regan out of the blackmail story. Mars tells the detective that Geiger tried the blackmail angle on anyone he could. (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Mars tells Marlowe that he wishes General Sternwood would keep someone like Marlowe on salary to... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe says he’s going to see the casino for himself. Mars announces the two men are friends, and Marlowe agrees. Mars offers Marlowe a favor in... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
As he leaves, Marlowe asks Mars if he’s having the detective tailed by the gray sedan. Mars seems worried, denying all... (full context)
Chapter 22
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...usual. She is angry that the table doesn’t have the money to cover her bet. Eddie Mars appears, well-dressed as usual, to top up the table’s cash. (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Mars suggests arranging for someone to drive Mrs. Regan home, and she blushes. She demands to... (full context)
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...the croupier counts the money and sets the ball rolling. Red wins. Mrs. Regan laughs. Mars smiles. The crowd breathes and leaves. (full context)
Chapter 23
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...bodyguard. Mrs. Regan asks why he is here and Marlowe gives evasive answers about telling Mars that the detective is not interested in Rusty Regan. (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
While he pours the whiskey, Marlowe tells Mrs. Regan that Mars’s casino was guarded by police during Prohibition. He asks her what Eddie Mars is holding... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Mrs. Regan asks Marlowe to drive to his apartment. He again asks her what Eddie Mars is holding over her. Mrs. Regan becomes angry, and swears at Marlowe. They squabble.... (full context)
Chapter 25
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Masculinity Theme Icon
...the information is about, and Jones said it would help find Rusty Regan. Jones says Mars killed Regan, but Marlowe doesn’t believe him. Jones says Regan was a good man and... (full context)
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Jones tells Marlowe he noticed Rusty wasn’t around, and then noticed that Mars’s tough guy Lash Canino, who usually keeps his distance, was in town. Jones told this... (full context)
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For the $200, Jones tells Marlowe he can tell him where Mona Mars is now. That gets Marlowe’s attention. Jones says Mona never ran off with Rusty, but... (full context)
Chapter 26
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...and Canino are in. From his hiding place, the detective hears Canino telling Jones that “Eddie don’t like” the fact Jones went to talk to Marlowe. (full context)
Chapter 28
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Mona Mars doesn’t like it when Marlowe tells her he knows who she is. She says that’s... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Marlowe takes in the room as he tells Mona that Eddie killed Rusty. She asserts that Eddie isn’t like that. Marlowe accuses her of liking racketeers.... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Mona becomes angry, repeating that Eddie is not a killer. Marlowe says Eddie orders Canino to kill, and that the detective... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...but doesn’t have the key for his handcuffs. Canino does. Mona explains she didn’t think Eddie was a killer. She collapses into a chair. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...Silver-Wig as she gives him a cigarette. Marlowe tells her about Jones’s death, and how Eddie ordered it. Mona tell him to leave, and laughs, saying she still loves Eddie. (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...kill her, but she says she’s still his boss’s wife. Marlowe says Canino could kill Eddie easily. Mona tells Marlowe to leave again, and he kisses her before he does. She... (full context)
Chapter 29
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...to his car in the pouring rain. He thinks about Mona, who hid to protect Eddie, whom she loves. He also thinks through how Canino likely planned to kill him, while... (full context)
Chapter 30
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Gregory says maybe he left Eddie and Mona to “play a little game like that.” Marlowe says he hadn’t thought about... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
...as policemen come in this world. He says he wishes the world was fairer, but Eddie Mars will not likely end up in prison anytime soon. That’s not what the country... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Wealth, Status, and Social Mobility Theme Icon
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Gregory continues that he doesn’t think Eddie killed Regan, and that Regan will likely appear sometime soon. The Captain explains that Eddie... (full context)
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...the body, and they had found Canino’s print to verify Marlowe’s version of events. Later, Eddie Mars had also gone to Wilde’s place to collect Mona and smooth things over. (full context)
Chapter 32
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
Marlowe then asks Mrs. Regan what Eddie Mars has on her, and Mrs. Regan responds that she’s “tired” of the question. Marlowe... (full context)
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Continuing in a long monologue, Marlowe explains Eddie knew where Rusty was and didn’t want the police to find out, which is why... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...offers him $15,000. He attempts “not to sneer.” He mocks her, saying that’s how much Eddie expects to collect someday. She swears at him, and he agrees sarcastically, he is “a... (full context)
The Corruption of Society Theme Icon
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...where she’ll be safe. Mrs. Regan confesses, to hiding Rusty’s body and to calling in Eddie to help her. She says she did it to hide it from General Sternwood. She... (full context)
Cynicism and Survival Theme Icon
...his order, to take Carmen away. Mrs. Regan agrees, asking what he will do, as Eddie will want to kill him. Marlowe isn’t scared—he already killed Eddie’s “best boy” (Canino). Marlowe... (full context)