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McNally's Luck by Lawrence Sanders
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McNally's Luck (1992)

by Lawrence Sanders

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Warning: this review contains spoilers

****

Archy McNally, head of the Discreet Inquiries department of his father's law firm, has been tasked with a rather mundane case: the recovery of a cantankerous cat named Peaches, who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. Then another case lands in his lap: a friend of the family is receiving violent death threats in the mail. He suspects the cases are related, but how? And if he finds out, what price will he have to pay?

I read this after slogging through a couple of heavy non-fiction books and therefore probably enjoyed it even more than usual. Archy is in fresh, funny form, charming the ladies and scheming his way to solving the crime. I'd read this many years ago but forgotten the vast majority of it (the psychic, for instance, was not how I remembered her at all). So when I managed to predict one element of the solution, I chalked that up to having read many more murder mysteries between my first reading of McNally's Luck and the second.

Meanwhile, Archy's father, Prescott, was probably my favourite character in this one (as he usually is -- be my fictional uncle, sir!). He had a couple of opportunities to show his funny side, and his animated eyebrows were almost characters of their own, they were so expressive.

There were a couple of problematic elements that caused me to drop half a star from the rating:
- Simon Pettibone, the bartender at the Pelican Club, is introduced by Archy as "a gentleman of colour" (ARCHY this is the 1990s for crying out loud).
- Meg Trumble, whom Archy is wooing off and on, was badly betrayed by a man before she met Archy. By the end of the story she is in a same-sex relationship, with the implication being that her negative experience with men has made her turn to women instead, as if it were a sexual "preference" instead of a sexual orientation. (It reminded me of Pussy Galore, who was a lesbian in Goldfinger but then Bond "converted" her to heterosexuality. Urgh.)

These elements were more problematic for me because I had never noticed them before and was horrified on behalf of my teenage self who did not realize the implications at the time. And they make up a couple of lines of dialogue/narration at most. The rest of the book is still a good mystery. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Feb 13, 2014 |
The first seven books in the McNally series are charming piffle, just great for totally escapist reading. I discovered them when I was going through a difficult (and time consuming) time, when all I wanted out of a book was diversion and distraction, and McNally provided it.

This is Archie McNally's second starring role, and he remains just as he was in book one -- the son of a Palm Beach lawyer, but not himself a lawyer, having been kicked out of Yale Law for streaking. Instead of lawyering, he works with his father as the "Discreet Enquiries" department of the family law firm. The enquiries involve the socially and financially well fixed population of Palm Beach, where Archie is social butterfly. He is definitely an eccentric, living (quite happily) with Mum and Dad, and untroubled by his lack of worldly sucess. He loves food, he loves women, and he loves dressing to the nines. Peter Pan in PB, perhaps, but charming.

This second novel involves a catnapped Persian cat, which is shortly followed by the murder of a Palm Beach hostess. Archie detects a connection, and the plot proceeds from there. ( )
  annbury | Nov 14, 2013 |
Am luat obiceiul de a citi cărţi poliţiste în vacanţe de la Jeni Acterian. ( )
  mariusgm | Aug 25, 2013 |
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The cat's name was Peaches, and it was a fat Persian with a vile disposition.
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What begins as a kidnapped cat leads to ransom and homicide. And if a sensuous psychic makes a believer out of McNally, he'll earn that humans don'be have nine lives ... but scandals do.
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The Palm Beach playboy/sleuth has taken on some odd jobs in his day, but nothing compares to his latest: catnapping. What starts as a simple investigation quickly opens a Pandora's box of lust, greed, and murder. McNally has two crimes to investigate, the catnapping of Peaches, then murder of the a neighbor-lady of the McNallys. There are psychics, and seances to deal with, and McNaly is attracted to the sister of the catnapper victim's wife ... tho she seems more attracted to psychics. McNally's guilt pays off with a bracelet for Connie.
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South Florida sleuth and playboy Arcy McNally's search for a stolen cat quickly becomes far more lethal.

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