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The Archer Files

by Ross Macdonald Tom Nolan

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 Here, The Archer Files collects all the Lew Archer short stories ever published, along with thirteen unpublished "case notes" and a fascinating biographical profile of Archer by Edgar Award finalist Tom Nolan.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.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Barbarous Coast

by Ross Macdonald

The beautiful, high-diving blonde had Hollywood dreams and stars in her eyes but now she seems to have disappeared without a trace. Hired by her hotheaded husband and her rummy "uncle," Lew Archer sniffs around Malibu and finds the stink of blackmail, blood-money, and murder on every pricey silk shirt. Beset by dirty cops, a bumptious boxer turned silver screen pretty boy and a Hollywood mogul with a dark past, Archer discovers the secret of a grisly murder that just won't stay hidden.Lew Archer navigates through the watery, violent world of wealth and privilege, in this electrifying story of obsession gone mad.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Black Money

by Ross Macdonald

When Lew Archer is hired to get the goods on the suspiciously suave Frenchman who's run off with his client's girlfriend, it looks like a simple case of alienated affections. Things look different when the mysterious foreigner turns out to be connected to a seven-year-old suicide and a mountain of gambling debts. Black Money is Ross Macdonald at his finest.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Blue City

by Ross Macdonald

He was a son who hadn't known his father very well. It was a town shaken by a grisly murder-his father's murder. Johnny Weatherly was home from a war and wandering. When he found out that his father had been assassinated on a street corner and that his father's seductive young wife had inherited a fortune, he started knocking on doors. The doors came open, and Johnny stepped into a world of gamblers, whores, drug-dealers, and blackmailers, a place in which his father had once moved freely. Now Johnny Weatherly was going to solve this murder-by pitting his rage, his courage, and his lost illusions against the brutal underworld that has overtaken his hometown.

The Blue Hammer

by Ross Macdonald

The desert air is hot with sex and betrayal, death and madness and only Archer can make sense of a killer who makes murder a work of art. Finding a purloined portrait of a leggy blonde was supposed to be an easy paycheck for Detective Lew Archer, but that was before the bodies began piling up. Suddenly, Archer find himself smack in the middle of a decades-long mystery of a brilliant artist who walked into the desert and simply disappeared. He left behind a bevy of muses, molls, dolls, and dames-each one scrambling for what they thought was rightfully theirs.

Boys of Steel

by Ross Macdonald Marc Tyler Nobleman

Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, two high school misfits in Depression-era Cleveland, were more like Clark Kent--meek, mild, and myopic--than his secret identity, Superman. Both boys escaped into the worlds of science fiction and pulp magazine adventure tales. Jerry wrote his own original stories and Joe illustrated them. In 1934, the summer they graduated from high school, they created a superhero who was everything they were not. It was four more years before they convinced a publisher to take a chance on their Man of Steel in a new format--the comic book. The author includes a provocative afterword about the long struggle Jerry and Joe had with DC Comics when the boys realized they had made a mistake in selling all rights to Superman for a mere $130.

The Chill

by Ross Macdonald

When Alex Kincaids new bride, Dolly, inexplicably walks out on him, Lew Archer agrees to help find her; but what he finds instead is a corpse and evidence linking Dolly not only to this murder but to a series of others dating back to before she was even born.

The Chill

by Ross Macdonald

In The Chill a distraught young man hires Archer to track down his runaway bride. But no sooner has he found Dolly Kincaid than Archer finds himself entangled in two murders, one twenty years old, the other so recent that the blood is still wet. What ensues is a detective novel of nerve-racking suspense, desperately believable characters, and one of the most intricate plots ever spun by an American crime writer.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Chill: A Lew Archer Mystery

by Ross Macdonald

A Lew Archer mystery, set in southern California, concerning 3 crimes which look disparate at first glance...

The Dark Tunnel

by Ross Macdonald

On the home front, two wartime lovers reunite under a cloud of paranoiaIn 1937 Munich, an American must be careful when he smokes his pipe. Robert Branch, a careless academic, makes the mistake of lighting up when the Führer is about to begin a procession, and nearly gets pummeled for his mistake. Only the timely intervention of Ruth Esch, a flame-haired actress, saves him. So begins a month-long romance between East and West--a torrid affair that ends when the lovers make the mistake of defending a Jew, earning Branch a beating and Esch a trip to a concentration camp. Six years later, Esch escapes to Vichy and makes her way to Detroit. To her surprise, Branch is waiting for her. He is a professor, working for the war effort, and his paranoia about a spy inside the Motor City war board sours their reunion. Once again, a dangerous net is encircling these lovers--a reminder that, in this war, love always comes second to death.

The Doomsters

by Ross Macdonald

Hired by Carl Hallman, the desperate-eyed junkie scion of an obscenely wealthy political dynasty, detective Lew Archer investigates the suspicious deaths of his parents, Senator Hallman and his wife Alicia. Arriving in the sleepy town of Purissima, Archer discovers that orange groves may be where the Hallmans made their mint, but they've has been investing heavily in political intimidation and police brutality to shore up their rancid wealth. However, after years of dastardly double-crossing and low down dirty-dealing, the family seem to be on the receiving end of a karmic death-blow. With two dead already and another consigned to the nuthouse, Archer races to crack the secret before another Hallman lands on the slab.Murder, madness and greed grace The Doomsters, where a tony façade masks the rot and corruption within.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Doomsters

by Ross Macdonald

Hired by Carl Hallman, the desperate-eyed junkie scion of an obscenely wealthy political dynasty, detective Lew Archer investigates the suspicious deaths of his parents, Senator Hallman and his wife Alicia. Arriving in the sleepy town of Purissima, Archer discovers that orange groves may be where the Hallmans made their mint, but they've has been investing heavily in political intimidation and police brutality to shore up their rancid wealth. However, after years of dastardly double-crossing and low down dirty-dealing, the family seem to be on the receiving end of a karmic death-blow. With two dead already and another consigned to the nuthouse, Archer races to crack the secret before another Hallman lands on the slab.Murder, madness and greed grace The Doomsters, where a tony façade masks the rot and corruption within.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Drowning Pool

by Ross Macdonald

When a millionaire matriarch is found floating face-down in the family pool, the prime suspects are her good-for-nothing son and his seductive teenage daughter. In The Drowning Pool, Lew Archer takes this case in the L.A. suburbs and encounters a moral wasteland of corporate greed and family hatred--and sufficient motive for a dozen murders.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Far Side of the Dollar

by Ross Macdonald

Has Tom Hillman run away from his exclusive reform school, or has he been kidnapped? Are his wealthy parents protecting him or their own guilty secrets? And why does every clue lead Lew Archer to an abandoned Hollywood hotel, where starlets and sailors once rubbed shoulders with grifters--and where the present clientele includes a brand-new corpse.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Ferguson Affair

by Ross Macdonald

It was a long way from the million-dollar Foothill Club to Pelly Street, where grudges were settled in blood and Spanish and a stolen diamond ring landed a girl in jail. Defense lawyer Bill Gunnarson was making the trip-fast. He already knew a kidnapping at the club was tied to the girl's hot rock, and he suspected that a missing Hollywood starlet was the key to a busy crime ring. But while Gunnarson made his way through a storm of deception, money, drugs, and passions, he couldn't guess how some big shots and small-timers would all end up with murder in common. . .

Find a Victim

by Ross Macdonald

Las Cruces wasn't a place most travelers would think to stop. But after Lew Archer plays the good samaritan and picks up a bloodied hitchhiker, he finds himself in town for a few days awaiting a murder inquest. A hijacked truck full of liquor and an evidence box full of marijuana, $20,000 from a big time bank heist by a small time crook, corruption, adultery, incest, prodigal daughters and abused wives all make the little town seem a lot more interesting than any guide book ever could. And as the murder rate rises, Archer finds himself caught up in mystery where everyone is a suspect and everyone's a victim.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Food Snob's Dictionary

by Ross Macdonald David Kamp Marion Rosenfeld

Food Snob n: reference term for the sort of food obsessive for whom the actual joy of eating and cooking is but a side dish to the accumulation of arcane knowledge about these subjectsFrom the author of The United States of Arugula--and coauthor of The Film Snob's Dictionary and The Rock Snob's Dictionary--a delectable compendium of food facts, terminology, and famous names that gives ordinary folk the wherewithal to take down the Food Snobs--or join their zealous ranks.Open a menu and there they are, those confusing references to "grass-fed" beef, "farmstead" blue cheese, and "dry-farmed" fruits. It doesn't help that your dinner companions have moved on to such heady topics as the future of the organic movement, or the seminal culinary contributions of Elizabeth Drew and Fernand Point. David Kamp, who demystified the worlds of rock and film for grateful readers, explains it all and more, in The Food Snobs Dictionary.Both entertaining and authentically informative, The Food Snob' s Dictionary travels through the alphabet explaining the buzz-terms that fuel the food-obsessed, from "Affinage" to "Zest," with stops along the way for "Cardoons," "Fennel Pollen," and "Sous-Vide," all served up with a huge and welcome dollop of wit.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Galton Case

by Ross Macdonald

Almost twenty years have passed since Anthony Galton disappeared, along with a suspiciously streetwise bride and several thousand dollars of his family's fortune. Now Anthony's mother wants him back and has hired Lew Archer to find him. What turns up is a headless skeleton, a boy who claims to be Galton's son, and a con game whose stakes are so high that someone is still willing to kill for them. Devious and poetic, The Galton Case displays MacDonald at the pinnacle of his form.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Goodbye Look

by Ross Macdonald

In The Goodbye Look, Lew Archer is hired to investigate a burglary at the mission-style mansion of Irene and Larry Chalmers. The prime suspect, their son Nick, has a talent for disappearing, and the Chalmerses are a family with money and memories to burn. As Archer zeros in on Nick, he discovers a troubled blonde, a stash of wartime letters, a mysterious hobo. Then a stiff turns up in a car on an empty beach. And Nick turns up with a Colt .45. In The Goodbye Look, Ross Macdonald delves into the world of the rich and the troubled and reveals that the past has a deadly way of catching up to the present.If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, it is Ross Macdonald. Between the late 1940s and his death in 1983, he gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his pre-decessors had only hinted at. And in the character of Lew Archer, Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Instant Enemy

by Ross Macdonald

Generations of murder, greed and deception come home to roost in time for the most shocking conclusion ever in a Lew Archer novel.At first glance, it's an open-and-shut missing persons case: a headstrong daughter has run off to be with her hothead juvenile delinquent boyfriend. That is until this bush-league Bonnie & Clyde kidnap Stephen Hackett, a local millionaire industrialist. Now, Archer is offered a cool 100 Gs for his safe return by his coquettish heiress mother who has her own mysterious ties to this disturbed duo. But the deeper Archer digs, the more he realizes that nothing is as it seems and everything is questionable. Is the boyfriend a psycho ex-con with murder on the brain or a damaged youngster trying to straighten out his twisted family tree? And is the daughter simply his nympho sex-kitten companion in crime or really a fragile kid, trying to block out horrific memories of bad acid and an unspeakable sex crime?From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Ivory Grin

by Ross Macdonald

A hard-faced woman clad in a blue mink stole and dripping with diamonds hires Lew Archer to track down her former maid, who she claims has stolen her jewelry. Archer can tell he's being fed a line, but curiosity gets the better of him and he accepts the case. He tracks the wayward maid to a ramshackle motel in a seedy, run-down small town, but finds her dead in her tiny room, with her throat slit from ear to ear. Archer digs deeper into the case and discovers a web of deceit and intrigue, with crazed number-runners from Detroit, gorgeous triple-crossing molls, and a golden-boy shipping heir who's gone mysteriously missing.From the Trade Paperback edition.

Meet Me at the Morgue

by Ross Macdonald

Somebody in Pacific Point is guilty of a kidnapping, but what probation officer Howard Cross wants to find most is innocence: in an ex-war hero who has taken a tough manslaughter rap, in a wealthy woman with a heart full of secrets, and in a blue-eyed beauty who has lost her way. The trouble is that the abduction has already turned to murder, and the more Cross pries into the case the further he slips into a pool of violence and evil. Somewhere in the California desert the whole scheme may come down on the wrong man. Somewhere Cross is going to find the last piece of a bloody puzzle--a mystery of blackmail, passion, and hidden identities that might be better left unsolved.

The Moving Target

by Ross Macdonald

Like many Southern California millionaires, Ralph Sampson keeps odd company. There's the sun-worshipping holy man whom Sampson once gave his very own mountain; the fading actress with sidelines in astrology and S&M. Now one of Sampson's friends may have arranged his kidnapping.As Lew Archer follows the clues from the canyon sanctuaries of the megarich to jazz joints where you get beaten up between sets, The Moving Target blends sex, greed, and family hatred into an explosively readable crime novel.From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Name is Archer

by Ross Macdonald

Sleeping Beauty

by Ross Macdonald

In Sleeping Beauty, Lew Archer finds himself the confidant of a wealthy, violent family with a load of trouble on their hands--including an oil spill, a missing girl, a lethal dose of Nembutal, a six-figure ransom, and a stranger afloat, face down, off a private beach. Here is Ross Macdonald's masterful tale of buried memories, the consequences of arrogance, and the anguished relations between parents and their children. Riveting, gritty, tautly written, Sleeping Beauty is crime fiction at its best.If any writer can be said to have inherited the mantle of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, it is Ross Macdonald. Between the late 1940s and his death in 1983, he gave the American crime novel a psychological depth and moral complexity that his pre-decessors had only hinted at. And in the character of Lew Archer, Macdonald redefined the private eye as a roving conscience who walks the treacherous frontier between criminal guilt and human sin.From the Trade Paperback edition.

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