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The Archer Files (2007)

by Ross Macdonald

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Lew Archer (complete short stories)

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941229,398 (4.21)2
No matter what cases private eye Lew Archer takes on--a burglary, a runaway, or a disappeared person--the trail always leads to tangled family secrets and murder. Widely considered the heir to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, Archer dug up secrets and bodies in and around Los Angeles.  Here, The Archer Files collects all the Lew Archer short stories ever published, along with thirteen unpublished "case notes" and a fascinating biographical profile of Archer by Edgar Award finalist Tom Nolan. Ross Macdonald's signature staccato prose is the real star throughout this collection, which is both a perfect introduction for the newcomer and a must-have for the Macdonald aficionado.… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

I've said many times that Ross Macdonald's stories are every bit as satisfying as his novels, so if you're a fan of The Galton Case or The Chill but you've never read the shorter works, then by all means pick this up. The standouts are "Midnight Blue" and "Gone Girl"; in the former, private eye Lew Archer investigates the murder of a high school girl, while the latter manages to squeeze an entire novel's worth of action into just under thirty pages. Looking for nothing more than a little rest at a roadside motel north of San Diego, Archer finds himself embroiled in a shooting investigation, taking a very dangerous detour to Palm Springs and putting all the pieces together just in time for the story's tense climax at a broken-down beach house. It's a minor masterpiece whose bitter, tragic taste will linger for days after you've read it.

On the cover, Otto Penzler calls Macdonald's work "serious American literature," and he's right. These stories confirm it. ( )
  Jonathan_M | Dec 6, 2020 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ross Macdonaldprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gómez Calvo, IgnacioTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nolan, TomEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
ROSS, MCDONALDsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Lew Archer (complete short stories)
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No matter what cases private eye Lew Archer takes on--a burglary, a runaway, or a disappeared person--the trail always leads to tangled family secrets and murder. Widely considered the heir to Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe, Archer dug up secrets and bodies in and around Los Angeles.  Here, The Archer Files collects all the Lew Archer short stories ever published, along with thirteen unpublished "case notes" and a fascinating biographical profile of Archer by Edgar Award finalist Tom Nolan. Ross Macdonald's signature staccato prose is the real star throughout this collection, which is both a perfect introduction for the newcomer and a must-have for the Macdonald aficionado.

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