February 15, 1937|
Shrewsbury, Massachusetts, United States
|Died||September 7, 2008
Giles County, Tennessee
Gregory Mcdonald (February 15, 1937 – September 7, 2008) was an American mystery writer best known for his creation of the character Irwin Maurice Fletcher, an investigative reporter who preferred the nickname "Fletch."
Two of the Fletch books earned Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America: Fletch was named Best First Novel in 1975, and Confess, Fletch won for Best Paperback Original in 1977. This is the only time a novel and its sequel won back-to-back Edgars. Mcdonald would go on to write seven more Fletch novels, including the prequels Fletch Won and Fletch Too. The original book became a 1985 movie of the same name starring Chevy Chase.
Mcdonald was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was educated at Harvard, paying his own way by operating yachts, and worked as a teacher before becoming a journalist for the Boston Globe in the late 1960s. He finally left his newspaper position to become a novelist full-time with the publication of Fletch. In the mid-1980s, he moved to Pulaski, a city in Giles County, Tennessee. There, he bought an antebellum farm and became involved in local politics. He died at his home from prostate cancer in 2008.
In 1985, the first novel in the Fletch series was adapted into a movie with Chevy Chase playing the irreverent investigative reporter. Chase would reprise his role in the 1989 sequel Fletch Lives. Though Mcdonald had never really seen Chevy Chase perform in anything substantial, he readily agreed to the casting of the actor in the role, and had nothing but praise for his performance.
In Confess, Fletch, Mcdonald also introduced his second signature protagonist, Inspector Francis Xavier Flynn, a brilliant but eccentric Boston Police homicide detective who served as a foil for Fletch. Flynn would go on to appear in four of his own spin-off novels. The Fletch series also spawned the Son of Fletch series, in which Mcdonald introduced the character of Jack Faoni, the illegitimate son of Irwin Maurice Fletcher. In addition, Mcdonald wrote two novels in the Skylar series, and a number of non-series (and non-mystery) novels.
- Running Scared (1964)
- Fletch (1974)
- Confess, Fletch (1976)
- Flynn (1977)
- Fletch's Fortune (1978)
- Love Among the Mashed Potatoes apa Dear M.E. (1978)
- Who Took Toby Rinaldi? (US title)/Snatched (UK title) (1978)
- The Buck Passes Flynn (1981)
- Fletch and the Widow Bradley (1981)
- Fletch's Moxie (1982)
- Fletch and the Man Who (1983)
- Flynn's In (1984)
- Carioca Fletch (1984)
- Safekeeping (1985)
- Fletch Won (1985)
- Fletch, Too (1986)
- A World Too Wide (1987)
- Exits and Entrances (1988)
- Merely Players (1988)
- The Brave (1991)
- Son of Fletch (1993)
- Fletch Reflected (1994)
- Skylar (1995)
- Skylar in Yankeeland (1997)
- Flynn's World (1999 as e-book; 2003 on paper)
- Wise Saws (Unpublished)
- The Education of Gregory Mcdonald: Sketches from the Sixties. Writings About America, 1966-1973 (1985)
- Souvenirs of a Blown World: Sketches from the Sixties: Writings About America, 1966-1973, Seven Stories Press, 2009
- A collection of his writings for the Boston Globe.
- http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2008/oct/06/usa The Guardian
- Gregory Mcdonald Website
- Gregory Mcdonald at the Internet Movie Database
- Obituary at The New York Times
- Gregory Mcdonald at Find a Grave