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Posted March 2, 2008
McNally always entertains
This is a later McNally book actually written by Sanders and it is one of his better efforts. There is plenty of action, especially for this series, and even after it becomes obvious who the villian is the outcome is uncertain until the end. The McNally series is great for beach reading and is lighter fare than most Florida mysteries. It is interesting to contrast McNally with his predecessor several exits south on I-95, Travis McGee. McGee lives on a houseboat, McNally lives with his parents. McGee is self-employed while McNally works for his father. McGee favors cutoffs and a t-shirt while McNally is likely to be wearing lavender shoes and a puce beret. McGee's favorite food is Meyer's chili while McNally dines on oft-described epicurean fare. McGee travels the globe while McNally's adventures are largely confined to the wealthy enclave of Palm Beach. The McNally series offers an experience closer to a British mystery than a typical Florida crime novel. I recommend all of them if you enjoy lighter mystery fare. The characters become endearing if somewhat one dimensional and the setting is wittily and accurately drawn.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 17, 2006
The Parrot Also Rises, Against A Brilliant Yellow Sun?
Usually I know why a book keeps me reading. I know exactly what the capture cons are. In the case of McNALLY¿s PUZZLE, I kept reading with my own puzzle to saw with a jig. It had something to do with a jazzy writing rhythm and with the tightly focused, First-person-Narrative pushing Archy¿s socially elite slang. I found myself wondering where I¿d left my dictionary. I didn¿t want to lose the frequent opportunities to learn new words. McNALLY¿S PUZZLE is my first taste of this series. I was initially brought to it by readers¿ complaints about Archy¿s obsession with food, and Lawrence¿s including every tasty bite in the plot. In fiction I seek stimulation of the senses, though most often my moods prefer to go beyond and before the abundantly available ploys of the shock syndrome, and gregariously graphic sex. What else is there but solitary, tongue-in-teeth tangos with the manna of the gods? For me, the statement, ¿... bites off a big piece of bread,¿ might work up a hint of saliva. That¿s what I usually get in a work of food fiction, when I¿m lucky. But, the descriptive luxury of, ¿His teeth sink into the delicate texture of a soft, yeasty, French baguette, edged by the crunch of a crusty cover,¿ could get a stomach growl out of a full balloon. It¿s the rhythm of the syntax, though. It is. And the tight focus on Archy. That¿s what kept me reading long enough to get beyond my minimal irritation at the pondering push of the word dance. Once the rhythm had me going, and going, and picking up the book each time I had the time to read, I began being led by the nose, as well as the tongue, into the mystery developing with the precise timing of a master at a modern dance studio. Then the pace picked up slightly, plateau-ed, picked up a little more, and so on, to a perfect conclusion. That¿s all I¿ll say about that, not wanting to sing the secrets, or sling them around. Sanders exposed true writer¿s confidence in the pacing pauses of Archy¿s daily routines in this novel and especially in the succinct, crisp style of the picked up dance of denouement. I laughed out loud in cheering glee a few times during the final ten pages. Archy¿s father¿s heated question to a brouhaha which brought him out of his night sanctuary was classic, heart-healing humor.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 30, 2013
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