Kenneth Millar is one of the giants in American crime fiction. He wrote under the pseudonyms John Macdonald, John Ross Macdonald and most famously Ross Macdonald. His Lew Archer novels are incestuous, dark, and stylish. He really had a beautiful touch, but I feel like he isn’t celebrated much these days though his books are still in print. Here’s the first edition cover of his first Archer book, THE MOVING TARGET, 1949. On the left is the cool author’s photo on the dust jacket. 

More Macdonald covers coming.

I’ve always felt the movies didn’t do right by Ross Macdonald. Paul Newman did two turns as Macdonald’s PI, but they changed his name to Harper. Which is weird.

I love this set of old Bantam editions from the late 80s for the art. Each image has a compelling style and slightly offbeat perspective. I just wish they were bigger. My favorite is the cover of ZEBRA-STRIPED HEARSE; love the coat floating off the cliff.

I watched an old PBS documentary once on Macdonald (real name: Kenneth Millar). They had some B-roll of him sitting in a chair with a board over his lap, writing the synopsis of his next book in a composition notebook and then reading it to a camera. Made it seem so simple. It’s not; his plots are so dense.

Tomorrow: The OTHER Sherlock Holmes…

Look how cute! Paperbacks under $5!

Ross Macdonald’s 6th, 7th, and 8th Lew Archer books: The Barbarous Coast (1956), The Doomsters (1958), The Galton Case (1959).

The Ferguson Affair (1960) did not feature PI Lew Archer.

All Warner Books editions, late 1980s/early 1990s.

I love his books but have not read them all. This saddens me.

I love his books but have not read them all. This saddens me.