McNally's bluff An Archy McNally novel

Vincent Lardo

Book - 2004

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MYSTERY/Sanders, Lawrence
1 / 1 copies available
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Subjects
Published
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons c2004.
Language
English
Item Description
Based on the character created by Lawrence Sanders.
Physical Description
311 p.
ISBN
0399151893
Main Author
Vincent Lardo (-)
Other Authors
Lawrence Sanders, 1920-1998 (-)
Review by Booklist Reviews

Sanders originated the Archy McNally novels, and Sanders' publisher and estate have allowed Lardo to continue the series. This new one involves the death of a woman in a garden-hedge maze in a Palm Beach villa. The dead woman's husband, a self-styled impresario and former human cannonball, hires McNally to find his wife's killer. Lardo populates the novel with colorful characters, including Georgia O'Hara, a green-eyed, blond state trooper who is short on the domestic arts and long on sex appeal; her landlady, "an ancient recluse who came of age during the last big conflict and saw a German spy behind every palm tree"; and McNally's father, whose martinis "are as dry as a rain forest in August." What will keep readers engrossed are Lardo's descriptive passages. For example, when McNally enters a bar, "the pianist, in black tie, was tinkling out a Cole Porter melody that, like all Porter tunes, was conducive to ordering an old fashioned while gazing into the eyes of a beautiful woman." As far as the plot is concerned, the question is, Has Archy McNally ever failed to catch the killer? Even if readers know the answer, they will follow the book through to the end. ((Reviewed August 2004)) Copyright 2004 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Carnival impresario Matthew Hayes builds a huge maze in the backyard of his newly purchased South Ocean Boulevard mansion, but guests at his first party aren't too happy when his wife Marlena Marvel is found dead at the maze's center. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

This wacky, waggish whodunit is the sixth McNally title under the able authorship of novelist Lardo (The Hampton Affair), who took up the reins from the late Lawrence Sanders with 1999's McNally's Dilemma. When Archy is invited to attend the gala unveiling of an English hedge maze at the Palm Beach home of Amazin' Matthew Hayes an ex-human cannonball turned carnival impresario (5'4" in heels) married to Marvelous Marlena Marvel, a bosomy sideshow hootchy-cootchy (6'2" in socks) our hero is flabbergasted to find Marlena dead at the center of the maze. The boorish Hayes hires Archy to investigate his wife's bizarre murder; Archy is also employed by his attorney father, who has recently been consulted by one of the guests at the unveiling about the matter of a contested will. Black-sheep Laddy Taylor is hoping to relieve Carolyn, his 40-something, widowed stepmother, of his father's loot. With a gay gossip columnist, a young bisexual fortune-hunter, a fast-food heiress and her philandering hubby, an ex-caddy turned TV reporter, a husband/wife TV talk show team, and the sexy housemaid heading a list of suspects as colorful as the boutiques along Worth Avenue, snide, irrepressible Archy sets to work unraveling this baffling case. Red herrings proliferate, and legions of adoring McNally faithful will be left shouting, "Bravo! Encore!" Mystery Guild, Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club alternates. Agents, Frank Curtis at Rembar & Curtis and Ellen Geiger at Curtis Brown Ltd. (Aug.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

When the wife of a former carnival performer is found murdered at the center of her husband's newly constructed garden maze, Palm Beach private investigator Archy McNally finds the case complicated by the performer's dramatic personality. 125,000 first printing.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

When the wife of a former carnival performer is found murdered at the center of her husband's newly constructed garden maze, private investigator Archy McNally finds the case complicated by the performer's dramatic personality.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

When self-styled impresario and former human cannonball Matthew Hayes rents a luxury villa on Palm Beach's famed South Ocean Boulevard, the locals roll their eyes. But when he scuttles the traditional backyard accoutrements of swimming pool and tennis court in favor of a grand garden hedge maze modeled after the one at Hampton Court, the South Florida smart set can't wait for their invitations to the gala opening of the Amazin' Maze of Matthew Hayes.The big night arrives and gasps of wonder and delight are replaced by those of horror, as Hayes's ladylove, Marlena Marvel, in the role of Venus, is discovered at the center of the maze, very dead indeed. The authorities are stumped, as Hayes's carnival background gives rise to a number of possible suspects - and the huge crowd at the unveiling included its fair share of questionable characters. Or are there other forces - and more devious minds - at work? And Hayes's flair for the dramatic only complicates a mystery that has more false leads than his Amazin' Maze. It's up to Archy McNally to see through the scam and catch a killer.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

Secrets, surprises, and at least one dead body come out of the closet in the Palm Beach P.I.'s most twisted case yet. When self-styled impresario and former human cannonball Matthew Hayes rents a luxury villa on Palm Beach's famed South Ocean Boulevard, the locals roll their eyes. But when he scuttles the traditional backyard accoutrements of swimming pool and tennis court in favor of a grand garden hedge maze modeled after the one at Hampton Court, the South Florida smart set can't wait for their invitations -to the gala opening of the Amazin' Maze of Matthew Hayes. The big night arrives and gasps of wonder and delight are replaced by those of horror, as Hayes's ladylove, Marlena Marvel, in the role of Venus, is discovered at the center of the maze, very dead indeed. Is the gruff but grieving widower somehow involved in his wife's demise? Or are there other forces-and more devious minds-at work? Hayes's carnival background and flair for the dramatic only complicate a mystery that has more false leads than his amazin' maze. It's up to Archy McNally to see through the scam and catch a killer.