The Place for Mystery Since 1995
MysteryNet Home
TV Movies

Buy through our affiliates:
•  Mystery Guild Book Club
•  Buy Books
•  Buy Games

Using Discussion

Registering (FREE—required to post)

• Subscribe   • Edit Posts   • Personal Profile

Customization & Tools (For Members)

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Mystery Greats  /

Ross MacDonald

Ross MacDonald Books

Find Books by:
In Association with, in association with, offers books picks by this author and many more.
• Browse authors and genres
• Any book bought supports save up to 40%
Ross MacDonald (Dec. 13, 1915 - July 11, 1983), was the pseudonym of writer Kenneth Millar, married to fellow author Margaret Millar. His Lew Archer series, which includes The Moving Target (made into the movie Harper starring Paul Newman), The Barbarous Coast, The Drowning Pool and The Far Side of a Dollar, stands as one of the pivotal achievements of modern crime fiction.

Macdonald explores the mean streets of California much as Chandler did before him. The pervasive sense of disillusionment, clear-eyed realism, and uncommonly fine prose have made Macdonald a regular on both best-seller and college reading lists.

Please discuss his work below.

Previous MessagesEarliest MessagesOutlineRecent Messages More Messages (3 previous messages)
Bob S. - 08:51pm Jun 10, 1999 PST(#4 of 19)

Macdonald was a master. All modern first person mystery/P.I. novelists owe him a lot. Great descriptions, and it's interesting that we really don't find out that much about the personal life of Archer, at least not to the extent we do Spenser, Elvis Cole, John Cuddy, etc. I recommend picking up all of the Archer mysteries.

Corina Viramontes - 03:21pm Jun 18, 1999 PST(#5 of 19)

That's what so interesting about these characters -- they're all paladins without much of a past. Marlowe, Archer, and even Spade just did what they did with no delving into the past (except for tantalzing glimpses.) Very European, in a way.

k wilson - 10:58pm Jul 11, 1999 PST(#6 of 19)

Forget Marlowe, Spade, etc. Archer rules! What a writer!

Greg Marsh - 01:21pm Jul 16, 1999 PST(#7 of 19)

Big fan of Ross Macdonald-- and this is kind of weird, but I need to know when Lew Archer's birthday is! Does he ever give it in the story?

Cyndi Rawlins - 03:44pm Jul 21, 1999 PST(#8 of 19)

Answer to Greg M.. question: "I'm a big Ross Macdonald fan. Does anyone know the birthday of his famous p.i., Lew Archer?"

Hi Greg-- June 2, 1914 is the date Macdonald gives for Archer's Bday.

jbmarco - 01:28pm Oct 2, 1999 PST(#9 of 19)

i'm currently reading a bio of ross macdonald.. june 2 was also kenneth millar's anniversary.. archer was a gemini, but millar was a sagitarius (The Archer!)..kind of neat,eh?

Bob Banks - 08:44pm Feb 3, 2000 PST(#10 of 19)

Well, I'm sorry to have come to this page so lately. It seems to have run out of steam. I became a Ross Macdonald fan in the mid-'60s after I saw the movie "Harper" and read the book on which it was based, "The Moving Target." Over the next few years, I read all of the Lew Archer novels (as well as "The Ferguson Affair") that were then in print and a stayed current with each new publication. When Macdonald became silent after the publication of "The Blue Hammer," it left me with a palpable void. When he died in 1983, I learned that he had been suffering with Alzheimers for many years. I then reread some of the Archer stories and managed to get hold of read his earlier books. Still, I've missed him greatly.

Last summer, when I finally learned to surf the net, I found the January magazine articles referred to above and they brought back wonderful memories to me, while filling me new information about this wonderful man, whose real name was Kenneth Millar (pronounced Miller). I also read the biography written by Tom Noland (like Millar, a Canadian)that came out last March. For anyone who is a fan of Ross Macdonald, it is a must. I've read a lot of biographies of authors and it is one of the best. Noland is a good writer, but is a particularly thorough researcher. The book is filled with compelling information about Millar's youth and his family. I've left my name with almost all the used bookstores in town and am collecting all the copies of his books that I can find so that I always have extras to pass on to friends. I am now looking forward to rereading - no studying - the works of Millar/Macdonald.

In my judgment, I've not read any writer of mystery or detective fiction who is Macdonald's artistic equal. His rhetorical skill alone is sufficient to make him exceptional. I really don't know of many of the more critically acclaimed novelists in other fields that are in his class.

I hope all of you who have posted comments about Macdonald are still readers of him.

Jackie C. - 07:44pm Feb 8, 2001 PST(#11 of 19)

Bob, I was influenced by your enthusiasm for Ross MacDonald's work, and visited the local used bookstore, and came away with six titles!

I began with The Drowning Pool - and couldn't put it down. Somehow, I don't imagine Lew Archer looking like Paul Newman in my head. He's an enigma, and I look forward to learning more about this cool detective.

Bob Banks - 04:58pm Feb 20, 2001 PST(#12 of 19)

Thanks Jackie. I guess this discussion has pretty much died out. Like me, the others who posted here seem to have forgotten about the page. Or perhaps they've lost interest in the topic.

Jackie C. - 05:22pm Feb 20, 2001 PST(#13 of 19)

It's typical...I join a dead discussion! Oh well, I'm enjoying the discovery of this author. I bought all the titles available at the used book store I frequent - they're a terrific buy at $2.00 per book. The owner asked me, "Do you like MacDonald? I can get more titles from my other store in Hamilton." I told him I'd buy what he had, and last weekend I picked up "Trouble Follows Me", "The Instant Enemy" "The Far Side of the Dollar" and "The Underground Man"

My library is growing, eh?

Earliest MessagesOutlineRecent MessagesMore Messages (6 following messages)

 Read Subscriptions  Search  New User Registration  Login

 [F] Mystery Net Community  / Mystery Greats  / Ross MacDonald

In Association with

Support MysteryNet

Start Your Amazon
Shopping Here: