"Find the Woman"; "Gone Girl"; "The Bearded Lady"; "The Suicide"; "Guilt-Edged Blonde"; "The Sinister Habit"; "Wild Goose Chase"; "Midnight Blue"; "Sleeping Dog"...while The Archer Files gathers all (we know) including the (previously) lost stories, and The Name is Archer (Prashant Trikannad's choice this week) is an earlier collection that overlaps heavily with this one, I don't feel at all disadvantaged at having read this collection (particularly with its two companions) in the dollar or so purchase of the cheaply bound and printed DBC volume...the DBC itself almost worthy of FFB treatment, some decades after its folding, and probably as obscure to most of today's readers as the crime-fiction magazines it so regularly advertised in (despite the magazines mostly continuing, albeit with ever-smaller circulations).
As those with fresher memories of their chosen volumes will remind you at Patti's links and on-page reviews, Macdonald (actually Kenneth Millar) wrote elaborate mysteries with a dogged detective who was less stoic than Hammett's tended to be, less cartoonishly wise-ass than Chandler's, and certainly more human than entirely too many of his peers...things weren't going to go well, but Macdonald's Archer wasn't quite as much trapped in a nihilist world as most of the 1950s/60s hb detectives, particularly inside his own head, and that resistance to utter despair, without Macdonald resorting in Archer to the sort of super-anti-hero that, say, Travis McGee or Mike Shayne, much less Mike Hammer or Burke, became in the stories of others.
It helps. Literarily and otherwise.
Please see Patti Abbott's blog for more of this week's selections, Archer or less arch.
And here's an apparently uncollected Kenneth Millar short story, from the January 1948 issue of The American Mercury, "The Sky Hook" (courtesy a citation by Terry Zobeck).
|You just don't get Too many smiley portraits of Franco these days...|