Review published on September 7, 2018.
Mystery/investigation with humour. Entertaining modern-day ‘Sam Spade’.
An apparent vagrant on a beach is asked to respond to a rich man’s proposal – he is dying of cancer and wishes to find someone to ‘off’ him so wife can receive the insurance money. It happens that ‘Fletch’, who appears to be a drug pusher, is actually an investigative journalist working on a piece regarding drugs on the beach.
Not allowed to leave his own story, and with ex-wives on his case for alimony, Fletch must juggle his time looking into the multimillionaire’s request and background with his boss’s meetings and court appearances.
Fletch is a bit of a Sam Spade, a wise-cracking jaded character, with a past of his own and an eye for a puzzle. He’s an anti-hero. There are some other sympathetic characters and a good mystery to wallow in and follow.
The narration by Fletch works as an audiobook, as we are spoken to. It’s an entertaining listen and easy to follow. The voice artist does a grand job at bringing Fletch to life and voicing several others including (ex)wives and a female boss.
There are some excellent comic scenes, usually involving Fletch and the women around him. I’ve not seen the films but I imagine these scenes are included, they are some of the stand-outs and very funny.
I’m not sure I’d want to read more of the series, but I did enjoy becoming familiar with Fletch. I can imagine the style and pattern of the stories continuing in the same vein.
A most enjoyable mystery, though of the 1970s, and with just slightly outdated attitudes towards women, lots of the humour hits home.
Katy Noyes 4/3
Fletch by Gregory McDonald
Blackstone Pub B07CLRH6MV audiobook Aug 2018