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As with previous elements of this specific series the attempt to produce an even lighter version of Rex Stout's classics is only partially successful, especially the often blatantly obvious attempts at literary allusions or verbal wit, and respelling of the name "Archie" doesn't help. The plot line is reasonably well handled notwithstanding the early apparency of the murderer and the denouement.
Particularly gross (as the simplest of research would have remedied it) was the assertion that movie star Tom Mix's horse was named "Pal," when, of course, it is well-known to have been "Tony." I am unfamiliar with any cowboy performer who has a mount so named. Buck Jones had "Silver" (as did the Lone Ranger), Ken Maynard had "Tarzan," GeneAutry had "Champ(ion)," Roy Rogers had "Trigger," et al.
I enjoyed reading this Archy novel! Vince Lardo seemed to capture the spirit and esscence of Lawrence Sanders.
Archy McNally rogue playboy of Ft. Worth and environs lives on!
I believe Mr. Lardo did an excellent job continuing the Archie McNally character. Oh ! I hope that he continues because I am dying to see what Archie does next! This is a great character it would be a shame to loose Archie McNally. Lawrence Sanders was a great mistery writer but Mr lardo does a great job at continuing! I already read the last book and I can't wait for the next one! I have heard, I should say, the whole McNally series!
By the way the best reader of the books is Mr Adam Henderson, he really gives Archie a flare! He is the best reader of them all.
Afficionados of the raffish Archy McNally will be wise to steer clear of this pathetic attempt to continue the series in the aftermath of the death of its creator. When Lawrence Sanders died, it was with great joy that fans of his creation, the sleuthing playboy Archy, were assured the series would continue intact with a new writer.
Alas, Archy is dead!
Although the characters remain the same, the joie-de-vivre, the flippant style, the romp-in-the-park attitude to this series are gone. In its place are stodginess, wordiness, seriousness. Perish the thought! Although the tale gets told, the lighthearted style is gone, now seemingly forced. In the prior offerings in the series, there were offhanded references to color and style of clothing that awakened the mental eyes (sometimes jarringly!), references to meals that caused the mental salivary glands to flow, and an all around casual attitude to the most serious of situations. Now such references, rather than offhanded, are seemingly shoved at the reader, like the book report of a teenager written hurriedly as the deadline approaches. The warmth that engulfed the telling of the tale has departed.
Fans of the mystery story get one in this book. Those who want to know "what happened to Archy next" are given such an update. But for those who revelled in spending time WITH Archy, sharing the company of such a character and enjoying his soul, the sad news is that Archy himself is present only in body - the heart of Archy, which made him such a joy, has departed. Caveat emptor.
Lardo did a fantastic job with Dilemma. He gave, avery much needed third dimension to Archy. Dilemma is the kind of book you want to go home too. As predictable as it was, the climaxes were nevertheless powerful. Perhaps if Jeff Wolinsky Jr. character could have been developed a little more.
Great job Vince! I am sure Lawrence would be happy, don't-you-know.
I find it quite interesting to see that some people are so angered by what they believe to be a fraud being perpetrated by the Sander's estate. The books written by Mr. Lardo are every bit as light-hearted and delightful as the original books supposedly written by Lawrence Sanders. I believe however that all of the Archie McNally books were most probably written by Vincent Lardo and never written by Sanders at all. In fact, I believe that some of the earlier books credited to Sanders (ones published in the five or so years preceding the creation of McNally were also written by a ghostwriter-but one other than Nardo.
Lardo is gettting more and more on key with Sanders. Who is Vincent
anyway? How did the "Estate" decide upon him? He is truly a
(note from BookBrowse: this post is in reference to McNally's Chance which isn't featured at BookBrowse.
Unlike other readers contributing a review I was fully aware of the
provenance of this book before reading it. From the perspective of a more recent
devotee of Archy's escapades, I suggest that some of the criticism levelled at
the author has been over harsh. Apparently the estate, via Sanders' publishers
requested Mr Lardo continue the McNally saga for the fans - ie no conniving by
him. And "Dilemma" really does an excellent job. In fact I doubt
whether any one else besides Sanders could do better in capturing the fruity
capriciousness of Archy's character. Later in the sequence, in "McNally's
Folly", there is that pervading sense that something is not quite right -
Prescott has lost his aloof regal hauteur and descended to the level of the
common man; Archy's traditional delight in his attire and gastronomic activites
has been dissipated in the mentioning, as if those undefinable Sanders elements
have departed and left us a slightly more wooden "true-to-type" Archy.
Nevertheless Mr Lardo should be commended.