RIP, Gregory McDonald

091508_1921[00].jpg

Sad news out of Pulaski, Tennessee: Author Gregory McDonald passed away September 7th at 71. McDonald’s Fletch series of books have been a huge influence on my interests in mystery writing and dry humor; in fact I just finished re-reading (for the third or fourth time) Fletch’s Fortune last week.

If you’ve seen the classic Chevy Chase flick Fletch, you’ve had a brief introduction to the character; though the books are decidedly darker, more insightful, and less forgiving. Check out the absolutely overlooked classic Fletch Forever, which includes three of the best, funniest, and most entertaining mystery novels ever written.

CORRECTION: My original version of this post noted Mr. McDonald passed away on September 14th. The correct date, according to multiple media reports, is September 7th. I regret the error.

  • Thank you for letting me know about this. Gregory McDonald is one of my favorite authors. He had a talent for dialogue. The first chapter of Fletch Won is the funniest description of the newspaper business.

    I miss Fletch and his son. And Flynn. I was hoping he would make more appearances on the mystery shelves. And I always will wonder what happened to Skylar.

    This news has me scrolling through my memories created by his books. It will have me going through the day with a mix of sadness and amusement.

  • Carl,

    Thanks for the link. McDonald not only captured the essence of the newspaper, he did the same with political campaigns (The Man Who), conferences (Fletch’s Fortune), the power of politics (Flynn’s In), and perhaps most relevant to our times, “The Buck Passes Flynn” talks about the precarious balance of our financial systems over 30 years ago. Better, so much of what McDonald wrote in the ’60’s, ’70’s, and ’80’s is still relevant today.

    And he did it all with grace. After all, this is a guy who never once used the word “couch” when “divan” would do.

    Fans may or may not take solace to know there has always been a rumor of another “Flynn” novel which for unknown reasons has not been published.