Monday, July 4, 2011

McNally's Dilemma by: Lawrence Sanders Review

Description via Goodreads:

Lawrence Sanders made a career out of improving upon other peoples' ideas. At the time he wrote THE ANDERSON TAPES, the device of using a tape recording as a narrative device was just coming into fashion. His use of the tape format has never been equaled.

At the time he wrote THE FIRST DEADLY SIN, serial killers (though they weren't yet called that) were becoming major villains in crime fiction. Except for the work of two other writers -- Thomas Harris and Shane Stevens -- I don't think SIN has ever been equalled.

And while one can't say that the McNally series -- his latest spate of bestsellers -- is up to the standard of THE THIN MAN or Lord Peter Wimsey -- the dual inspiration for these books -- Sanders does a damned good job of melding them into a contemporary series.

One thing up front: A gritty, realistic private eye series this ain't. And isn't supposed to be. McNally is the ne'er-do-well son of a brilliant lawyer. After he flunks out of Yale Law, Daddy sets him up as the investigative wing of the law firm. He gets involved in various Palm Beach scandals filled -- as are most of Sanders's books -- with lots of sex, violence, and fey commentary on the mores of the rich and/or horny.

In MCNALLY'S DILEMMA, we encounter a nice, twisty mystery that begins when a socialite who admits to murder asks McNally to help keep the press away from her beautiful daughter. How can he say no? But as he looks at the case, McNally wonders if anybody connected to it is telling him the truth. Various conflicting motives and stories emerge. How will McNally sort it all out?

Sanders was a pro's pro. He could and did do just about everything one can with various forms of popular fiction. The McNally books are pure entertainment. Sanders had a good eye and ear for the habits of the idle rich, and those talents are very much on display here. 

My Review:

This book had everything action, adventure, mystery, whodunit's, we follow the main character Archy McNally as he investigates both blackmail from a portrait of a great grandfather who was with the Titanic when it sunk.  And a wealthy murder.  As with any great mystery the ending was a complete twist and I loved it.
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