Friday, November 22, 2013

FFB: Skylar -- Gregory Mcdonald

I thought the first couple of books in Gregory Mcdonald's series about Fletch were terrific but that they went downhill after that.  I also liked the books about Flynn, but having been pretty disappointed in several of the later Fletch books, I hadn't read anything by Mcdonald in years.  Then, as happened with the book I mentioned last week, I ran across unread paperbacks of Skylar and Skylar in Yankeeland.  These were  in a thrift store instead of on eBay, but the principle is the same.  I couldn't just leave them there.  So I bought them.

The setting of Skylar is Greendowns County, Tennessee.  The title character has just graduated from high school and plans to remain in Tennessee for the rest of his life, though his grades are higher than anyone else's in his school.  His Boston cousin, Jonathan Whitfield, has been sent to visit to while he recovers from a bout of mono.  Skylar and Jonathan don't take to each other.  

Skylar is also irresistible to women.  It seems that his touch is electric, and just looking at him makes women want to jump his bones.  There's more sex in the first chapter of this book than in the entire soft porn book from last week.  What a difference a few decades makes. 

Unfortunately for Skylar, he's soon arrested for the murder of the young woman that the entire county believes he's practically engaged to.  Skylar breaks out of jail, and then her brother is murdered.  He's in big trouble.

Don't try to figure out the mystery.  It's not likely that any reader could. That's not the point of the story, anyway.  The point is snappy patter, a Mcdonald specialty, and observations that you might or might not find amusing.  Things take a very dark turn before it's all over, as they often do in Mcdonald's books, or at least that's my recollection of them.

I found this one better than the later Fletch books, though it's certainly not up to the first two.  I'll probably aread the sequel.  If I do, I'll report on it next week.


Anonymous said...

Calling Mr. Language Person!

You mean "principle" of course.

tsk tsk


Unknown said...

Indeed I do. Or did. It's fixed now.

Anonymous said...

The last Mcdonald book I read was in 1987. I think I'll skip this one.


Rick Robinson said...

I didn't much like the Fletch book I read, (nor the film) , so I didn't bother with him any more. Too many other books……….

Cap'n Bob said...

I read and liked the first two or three Fletch books, too. I also remember Greg at the D.C. Bouchercon leading a group of us to a local used book store. This was when B'cons lived up to their goal of allowing fans and pros to mingle, and not be a feeding frenzy for writers with books to market.