I just rented The Long Goodbye. It's one of my favorite films, and it would certainly be near the top of my list of favorite Robert Altman films (if I bothered to keep such a list).
I'm so looking forward to watching the film that I'm sort of sneaking up on it by watching all the DVD extras first. And there's a short documentary called "Rip van Marlowe" which is all about how this version of Phillip Marlowe is like a detective from the 1940s who went to sleep for twenty years and then woke up in LA in the early 1970s (which is only sort of true, as I talked about in my review).
And this made me think, for the very first time, about another detective who appears to be from another era, who dresses in a very old-fashioned manner (and who also never removes her tie), and who always acts in accordance with her own ideas of what's right.
Was The Long Goodbye some sort of influence on Jan Sleet? It's quite possible, but who knows? This is why it's always hard to answer the question of where a writer's ideas (or anybody's really) come from.
Completely solving that mystery would be beyond even Jan Sleet or Phillip Marlowe.
So, where do your ideas come from? 🙂
(I also talked about this question in an earlier post called, "Excelsior, You Fatheads.")