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The Ferguson Affair Paperback – December 7, 2010

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Editorial Reviews


“My favorite . . . [Macdonald] is first among those novelists who raised the genre from its roots in pulp fiction to serious literature.” —P.D. James, from Talking About Detective Fiction

“[The] American private eye, immortalized by Hammett, refined by Chandler, brought to its zenith by Macdonald.” —New York Times Book Review
“Macdonald should not be limited in audience to connoisseurs of mystery fiction.  He is one of a handful of writers in the genre whose worth and quality surpass the limitations of the form.” —Los Angeles Times
“Most mystery writers merely write about crime.  Ross Macdonald writes about sin.” —The Atlantic
“Without in the least abating my admiration for Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, I should like to venture the heretical suggestion that Ross Macdonald is a better novelist than either of them.” —Anthony Boucher
“[Macdonald] carried form and style about as far as they would go, writing classic family tragedies in the guise of private detective mysteries.” —The Guardian (London)
“[Ross Macdonald] gives to the detective story that accent of class that the late Raymond Chandler did.” —Chicago Tribune

About the Author

Ross Macdonald’s real name was Kenneth Millar.  Born near San Francisco in 1915 and raised in Ontario, Millar returned to the U.S. as a young man and published his first novel in 1944. He served as the president of the Mystery Writers of America and was awarded their Grand Master Award as well as the Mystery Writers of Great Britain's Gold Dagger Award.  He died in 1983.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Crime/Black Lizard (December 7, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 030774079X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307740793
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Michael G. VINE VOICE on March 16, 2005
Format: Paperback
Lew Archer is nowhere to be found in this Ross Macdonald mystery from 1960. Instead, a very conscientious lawyer by the name of Bill Gunnarson serves the dual role of narrator and crime solver.

What starts out as a rather mundane case involving serial burglaries becomes increasingly complex and engaging as murder and kidnapping are added into the mix.

As in all Ross Macdonald novels, The Ferguson Affair is steeped in human tragedy stemming from the effects of ill-fated relationships and family dysfunction years in the making. Macdonald's grand theme seems to be that the past will dictate the future and that an individual's ability to alter his pre-determined destiny is extremely limited.

The Ferguson Affair gets 5 stars from me because of its intricately constructed and engaging plot, its highly descriptive and imaginative prose and its very compelling and moving character sketches.

Ross Macdonald took his craft quite seriously and the results of that are apparent in the pages of this remarkable book. Do yourself a favor and read it.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Fama on May 2, 2001
Format: Paperback
Originally published in 1960, the Ferguson Affair was released more or less in the middle of the Lew Archer series. Lawyer Bill Gunnarson substitutes for Archer, the most pronounced difference being he is married. It's of little consequence, because MacDonald keeps her appearances to a minimum. If you did a word search and substituted Bill with Lew and Ginnarson with Archer, no one would notice this wasn't an Archer mystery.
All of the Ross MacDonald trade marks are here; double identities, crokked cops, etc. The Ferguson Affair is thoroughly enjoyable, and hopefully Black Lizard will release it soon!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By SJHatzi on October 31, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Just read "Trouble Follows Me", "The Dark Tunnel" and now "The Ferguson Affair". Of all these three novels preceding Mr. MacDonald's Lew Archer series, this one was by far my favourite, and the one bearing similarities to the Archer mainstays: the Southern California locale, the crusty but principled sleuth, the mysterious and dangerous femme fatale. As all of the author's work, it's an intelligent, well-paced read with a male lead that even after all these decades, one would still want to meet.
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