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McNally's Secret (Archy McNally #1)

3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,475 Ratings  ·  123 Reviews
When detective Archy McNally is called to retrieve a set of rare stamps known as "Inverted Jennies" from one of Palm Beach's wealthiest and most curvaceous matrons, he unexpectedly becomes entangled in something far more dangerous. A local collector is slain, and all roads lead Archy back to the original crime scene. But before he can put the pieces together, he faces anot ...more
Audio, 0 pages
Published February 1st 1992 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1992)
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Robin Donovan
Feb 05, 2012 Robin Donovan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sanders' character Archie McNally is nothing short of brilliant. He's an affluent living, intelligent, capable underachiever - and he's fine with that. He didn't make it through law school to make his stuffy old law firm dad happy, but he manages to solve some tricky problems that Dad's clients seem to get themselves into regularly. He can't afford luxurious digs - so he lives with Mom and Dad - how else would a guy with his resources be able to live right on the water and have servants at his d ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Archie McNally is a 37 year old, single guy that lives in the attic of his parents' house. He does investigation work for his lawyer-father. In the first of this series, he is investigating the disappearance of some very valuable stamps for one of his father's very wealthy clients.

I loved the smart, irreverent humor, the surprise ending and Archie's respectful and loving relationship with his parents. I will definitely be reading more about Archie and family.
Greer Andjanetta
Sep 14, 2013 Greer Andjanetta rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The 'Archie McNally' stories by Lawrence Sanders are all essentially the same, small mysteries, sometimes murders, taking place in Palm Beach, Florida. Each book features descriptions of AM's food, clothing, girlfriends and lifestyle and while repetitive after two or more books, all stories make good, light, entertaining reading. The plots are virtually indistinguishable but Sanders' excellent writing style, above-average vocabulary and non-reliance on profanity and foul language to give his cha ...more
Julie Fruchtman
Jan 22, 2010 Julie Fruchtman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I find that all of the McNally books are perfect "palette cleansers".
Any time that I finish heavy reading, I pick up one of the McNally mysteries and they never fail to amuse and ground me.
Apr 12, 2015 Sharyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can't believe I never read this series! Assigned for book club, will be fun to discuss. Ok, so I lived in Palm, Beach for a summer, and West Palm for awhile and my mother lived in Delray beach, so it was fun knowing many of the places. Archie is just a riot, and I love that he uses Yiddishisms, which is funny in WASP Palm Beach. I also own a Miata, but silver. This is just a fun romp, and I will read at least the next 3. The mystery was almost incidental to the story, which is more character b ...more
May 04, 2013 Helen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Haven't read any of this author's work before but boy did it sound familiar. It was McNally's first name that gave it away: Archie. I grew up reading Rex Stout and McNally is an incarnation of Archie Goodwin, complete with smart cracks and multi females. We're fifty years on so the plots can involve a number of problems which would have been only hinted at in those earlier stories; homosexuality can say its name and sex can act in front of the curtain but the language in this remains decent and ...more
An Odd1
Jun 14, 2013 An Odd1 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fan
He lives at home, in a separate garage apartment, shares cocktail hour with mater and pater, tries to be faithful but falls for buxom beauties, enjoys the specialties at his local yacht club/ bar. His fashion sense would match a striped lime green beret to cherry red polkadot tie over lilac checkered golf knickers. The finest cognac, aromatic cheroot, and onion bedecked burger. I read the series more for his eccentricities and hot Florida sun than adulterous greedy socialite soap opera leading t ...more
Bill Donhiser
A fun short novel. This tongue in cheek series is fun light reading. Stolen Stamps, spoiled rich people, murder, and money. I read or listened to several of this series many years ago and thought it might be fun to go through them one more time
Karen B.
Feb 23, 2015 Karen B. rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was hesitant at first to read this book because I figured McNally would be a hard boiled detective but was pleasantly surprised by the book. I bought the whispersync narration and initially was listening to part of the book before falling asleep. About 30% of the way through I decided to read and listen at the same time so that I could keep the various characters and their actions straight.
Archie carries cards that say "McNally Attorney at Law" but explains that he is not the attorney who is a
Tom Nailor
Mar 01, 2014 Tom Nailor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Is it high literature? No. Is it Sherlock Holmes or Miss Marple? No. Is it a fun romp and a good mystery? Of course. Ala a playboy Adrian Monk or a wealthy Shawn Spencer, Archy McNally is a ton of fun as narrator and protagonist. This one has some good intrigue and is classic McNally--with the usual flirtations, foodie fun, and fashionable finery. Recommended if you like fun mysteries, if you like to laugh with the rich and not so fabulous, or if you want a beach read to be enjoyed in any temper ...more
Jul 27, 2014 HBalikov rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's go back about a quarter of a century to THAT Palm Beach, Florida -- The one that Donald Trump was so anxious to be accepted into. Then, there was still a lot of the old money around and the need to fit in to a society that recently rich could only aspire to. This is where McNally & Son have chosen to serve their clientele. Father McNally is head of a local law firm and the son, Archy, a Yale failure, is responsible for the firm's discreet inquiries.

Educated at the proper Ivy League sch
Sanders, Lawrence - 1st in series

From Fantastic Fiction: Although he doesn't usually handle burglaries, playboy/sleuth Archy McNally agrees to handle a "discrete" case for a society matron. And his search for stolen property leads Archy into a maze of sex, lies, and blackmail, uncovering a secret that's much too close to home

Funny, very enjoyable. Love the character's relationship with his parents. Light fun.
Kevin Sterling
Sep 18, 2013 Kevin Sterling rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I've read all of the McNally novels by Lawrence Sanders and Vincent Lardo. As one might imagine, Lawrence Sanders' original books are the best, and this one is no exception. They all reflect exactly what I hope to achieve in my own books - sheer entertainment and fun. Every one of them deserves five stars.
Mar 07, 2013 Bill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book will crack you up, and while you’re laughing, you’ll be treated to a little sex, some secret romance, a murder or two, and enough suspense to fill your pint glass again and again. If you want a good laugh, some romance, and a great mystery, grab this baby!
Apr 22, 2009 Nancy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
An entertaining mystery with the requisite surprises. To be honest I think I gave it 3 stars rather than 4 because it was hard for me to like the playboy detective. If you enjoy a little glitz in your mysteries, this is a good one for you.
May 28, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoy Archibald McNally. He is a fun character to follow. And Saunders' devotion to always including a description of whatever food is being consumed is a charming addition to these quick mystery novels.
Charmer. This series seems delightfully old-fashioned without being artificially historical. Archy McNally is a PI for his father's white shoe law firm in Palm Beach. He is a natty man about town, maybe a little silly, the type that is easily underestimated. Something like Peter Whimsy now that I think about it. In this first of the series Archy investigates a missing block of misprinted stamps that disappeared from the palatial home of the law firm's rich client, Lady Cynthia Horowitz. A gentee ...more
Nov 13, 2009 Shishir rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: witty
Archy McNally rocks! I love the way this series has been written - the wit is super and the language pretty darn good.
Feb 25, 2014 Linda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-only
The mystery and the story were fine.

But I was completely distracted by the fact that while it was set in 1990's Florida, but everyone spoke as if they lived in the 1930's. Referring to a woman as a "cupcake" and a man as "lad". Discussion of old maids or spinsters. A reference to Gibson Girls. The formal dialogue between father and adult son.

I kept being convinced it was set in the 30s after all, and then I'd remember the references to the Mazda Miata or a cellular phone.

Oh well. It was an en
Mar 11, 2016 Anna_schtr rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
First book in the series and introducing Archy McNally, a tribute to Rex Stout’s Archie Goodwin. Archy, a Palm Beach playboy of undeniable charm, has similar irreverent voice and critical detachment from his surrounding but attempts to take upon the role of a Great Detective as well. The first part works, the second one not so well. The plot itself is a bit thin, and sometimes I wished there were a bit less of sandwiches and bit more of an action. Forgoing a tight mystery plot however, is a smal ...more
Apr 01, 2013 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a good mystery it kept me guessing. I really did not connect with any of the characters. Thats probably just me. Every character has good faults but mostly bad qualities stuck out for me. This is a clean read.

Archy works for his father a lawyer in Florida. He is sent into find out about a clients missing US. Stamps that had been stolen.
Her safe was not locked. Lady Cynthia Horowitz has been married six times and the stamps were part of a divorce settlement. A simalar set sold for
Jun 01, 2013 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, e-book
I received this book from Open Road Media and Netgalley. This is a re-issue of the first McNally mystery by Lawrence Sanders in digital format.
I have read Lawrence Sanders before, but never the McNally series.
Archy McNally, womanizer, detective in his father's law firm, and still living at home, lives the good life in Palm Beach, Florida.
When his father assigns him the job of finding out who stole a set of collectable stamps from the infamous Lady Horiwitz, McNally uncovers a clever scheme. In
Aug 12, 2012 rabbitprincess rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who like light, silly mysteries
Palm Beach denizen Archy McNally is the "son" of McNally and Son, Attorney-at-Law -- his father, Prescott, is the actual attorney at the head of the firm. Archy is the head and sole employee of the Discreet Inquiries department, which specializes in investigating cases that require a little more delicacy than a typical police investigation. In this first installment, Archy is tasked with investigating the disappearance of a block of four "Inverted Jenny" stamps from the home of one of the firm's ...more
Oct 27, 2014 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked up a trio of these mysteries in a second hand shop and I'm hooked. There's not much 'educational' about them, unless you consider Palm Beach a different culture, which it often seems. But the main character is disarmingly charming and the stories are engaging. All the characters are well developed and the style is perfect - good descriptions but not too much, twists in the plot but enough clues to seem possible.
Somehow I got this for free on my Kindle so I read it on my iPhone while taking the bus to work. I think I confused Lawrence Sanders with Lawrence Block...I knew this was the beginning of a "light" series, and that's what it is. With kind of a PG Wodehouse sensibility.

I like the dark, noir stuff. This was fine. Just not my taste.
Jul 07, 2014 Ron rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Archie McNally, Yale dropout and over indulged son of a Palm Beach lawyer works as a part time investigator for his father. The story involves Archie working to solve a robbery and homicide among the Palm Beach elite. The plot is okay but the dialog is too high brow to fit the real world. Not the best I've read lately.
Razvan Banciu
nothing special, excepting a very strong resemblance to san antonio. the plot almost does not exist, characters are liniar and there are some questions of logic too. one of them: what expert is so stupid in order to buy false stamps? three stars, for the partially happy final, but with a great dose of benevolence...
Carol and Gary Curtis
First of a series. While it may be needed to introduce all the characters in the coming books, I did not find this effort all that enjoyable. Don't misunderstand, the author writes well and can spin a yarn but it was a bit boring waiting for him to get on with the plot.
Feb 01, 2015 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have read most of the McNally books, and enjoyed them. They are fun, clever, and I usually increase my favorite word from the series is 'prolix', which I use every chance I get (it wasn't in this book = one of the later ones)
Jan 03, 2015 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fun-reads, 2014
I have read many books in this series but then let the series go for a while as I was never sure if I liked the main character/narrator Archie McNally (and actually grew to dislike him over the course of the series).

This one is a re-read of the first of the series but far enough away from my first read that, while some of the plot points seemed familiar I could not remember 'who dunnit'. In this second reading, I am still not sure if I like Archie. I am not sure yet if I will re-read the next on
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McNally's Secret 2 17 Mar 22, 2013 04:08PM  
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There is more than one author with this name

Lawrence Sanders was the New York Times bestselling author of more than forty mystery and suspense novels. The Anderson Tapes, completed when he was fifty years old, received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for best first novel. His prodigious oeuvre encompasses the Edward X. Delaney, Archy McNally, and Timothy Cone series, along with
More about Lawrence Sanders...

Other Books in the Series

Archy McNally (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • McNally's Luck (Archy McNally, #2)
  • McNally's Risk (Archy McNally, #3)
  • McNally's Caper
  • McNally's Trial
  • McNally's Puzzle
  • McNally's Gamble
  • McNally's Dilemma (Archy McNally, #8)
  • McNally's Folly
  • McNally's Chance (Archy McNally, #10)
  • McNally's Alibi

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