The Drowning Pool

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The Drowning Pool
First edition
Author Ross Macdonald
Cover artist Bill English
Country United States
Language English
Series Lew Archer
Genre Mystery novel
Publisher Knopf
Publication date
Media type Print (Hardcover, Paperback)
ISBN 0-679-76806-8
OCLC 35172920
813/.52 20
LC Class PS3525.I486 D75 1996
Preceded by The Moving Target
Followed by The Way Some People Die

The Drowning Pool is a 1950 mystery novel written by Ross Macdonald, his second book in the series revolving around the cases of private detective Lew Archer.

Plot summary[edit]

Archer is hired by a woman to investigate a libellous letter she received. The family lives in the house situated on the line between two Southern Californian towns, one an idyllic, oil-rich town and the other the small, seedy town from which the oil comes, corrupt and destroyed by the industry. It is not long before Archer is more concerned with investigating murder instead of just blackmail.

The book was the basis of the 1975 Paul Newman film of the same name but the movie has radical departures from the plot of the novel, including moving the location to Louisiana.


The New York Times called the book "a fast moving, smoothly written first rate whodunnit."[1] They named it one of the top mysteries of 1950.[2]


  1. ^ Criminals At Large: Duff Lays It On Death by Drowning Speeding to Nowhere Hot Rocks Trillium New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]10 Sep 1950: 219.
  2. ^ Best Mysteries of 1950 New York Times (1923-Current file); New York, N.Y. [New York, N.Y]03 Dec 1950: BR30.