FORGOTTEN BOOKS #330: The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator By Ross Macdonald & Edited by Tom Nolan

archer files
Black Lizard just published The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator. Many of you may own the Crippen & Landru edition (2007) of this book. This paperback version–592 pages–is a bargain for the price (AMAZON is selling it for $12.18). I’m more of a fan of the Lew Archer novels, but these short stories hold up well.

The Archer Files collects the stories from Macdonald’s 1955 paperback-original The Name Is Archer, the stories included in the Otto Penzler-edited 1977 volume Lew Archer: Private Investigator, and the three novellas presented in Crippen & Landru’s 2001 book Strangers in Town. The short stories in this volume provide a broad perspective on the development of Ross Macdonald as a writer. Nolan adds 13 “case notes” that provide additional insights in Macdonald’s writing process. Well worth reading!
“Archer in Memory”–A Biographical Sketch by Tom Nolan
Find the woman
Death by water
The bearded lady
Strangers in town
Gone girl
The sinister habit
The suicide
Guilt-edged blonde
Wild goose chase
The angry man
Midnight blue
Sleeping dog
Preface to the Case Notes
The 13th day
Heyday in the blood
Lady killer
Little woman
The Strome tragedy
Stolen woman
Death mask
Change of venue
Do your own time
Count of Montevista
100 pesos
We Went On from There
Winnipeg, 1929


9 thoughts on “FORGOTTEN BOOKS #330: The Archer Files: The Complete Short Stories of Lew Archer, Private Investigator By Ross Macdonald & Edited by Tom Nolan

  1. Tom Nolan

    Dear George Kelley:
    Thank you for the kind mention of Black Lizard’s new edition of THE ARCHER FILES.
    Let me add please that this trade-paperback includes three additional “case notes” that do not
    appear in the original Crippen & Landru anthology: “”We Went On From There,”
    “Trial,” and “Winnipeg, 1929 ( I & II ).” Also included in this edition (as in the C&L book) is
    “Archer in Memory,” my pocket-biography of Lew Archer.

    And, in response to your recent item regarding MEANWHILE THERE ARE LETTERS: THE CORRESPONDENCE OF
    EUDORA WELTY AND ROSS MACDONALD, edited by Suzanne Marrs and myself, may I recommend this fine
    New York Times review by the novelist LouisBayard, in addition to the one you’ve cited:

    Many thanks and best wishes,
    – tom nolan

    1. george Post author

      Tom, thanks for the posting on the new edition of THE ARCHER FILES! None of the web sites selling it or the publisher’s web site includes the Table of Contents so I went with a library listing. I’ll adjust the Table of Contents.

  2. Jeff Meyerson

    Excellent. I was really happy to have all the stories together. I’d read THE NAME IS ARCHER years before but hadn’t read Otto’s collection. I did reread all of them when the Crippen & Landru edition arrived. I still have a handful of Lew Archer novels yet to read. I dole them out about one a year as they can be a little same-y.

  3. Prashant C. Trikannad

    George, a couple of years ago, I read a small collection of Ross Macdonald’s Lew Archer stories and some of those are in your list, so I’m probably looking at a different anthology. I have not read many of the stories in your edition.


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