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McNally's Puzzle (Archy McNally #6)

3.83  ·  Rating Details ·  1,522 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
Hiram Gottschalk is a wealthy widower with a paranoid son and heir, twisted twin daughters, and shady employees. Owner of bird store Parrots Unlimited, he hires Archy McNally and sidekick Binky for protection. But he is stabbed in his sleep; two clerks are killed in the Everglades. Who has the motive?
Paperback, Large Print, 343 pages
Published February 1st 1997 by Berkley (first published January 1st 1996)
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Feb 20, 2008 Dana rated it liked it
Wealthy bird shop owner, Hiram Gottschalk feels his life is threatened. He can not contact the police because there are no definite threats. The Gottschalk are to say it mildly dysfunctional. The son and heir is mentally unstable and the twin daughters are very twisted and not at all nice. To round out the menagerie there is the housekeeper who could organize the military and the manager of the bird shop who makes Archy look slovenly.

I found this one a bit repetitive. The first 25 pages were the
Jan 31, 2009 Mary rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Archie - he's such a flip guy and I relate to him even better now that I reside in southern Florida (constantly reread the books for fun - "one never knows, do one!"). I must admit that Lawrence Sanders only produced one other series I found worth reading and that's his character Timothy Cone. I am in the market for a first of "The Timothy Files" if anyone out there has one for sale. I'm not interested in any of "in the style of Saunders" Archie books - sorry, it's just not the ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Murrill rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
This is one of my "palate cleansers": A quick, light read to referesh me following some heavier tomes. I was not as entertained by this one, perhaps because the back-drop---exotic birds and people I didn't come to know--was less intriguing. Even Archy seemed bored.
Julie C-f
I almost have all McNally books and though the plots are basically the same, and the food, clothes and homes described in details, I still feel that more of these should be written.
Mar 05, 2016 Richard rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
A fun book to read. The writing is creative and witty. It was easy for me to like Archie McNally as he makes his discreet enquiries for his father legal firm.
Jacob Hochstetler
Sep 23, 2016 Jacob Hochstetler rated it it was amazing
I started this book and finished it in one day because this book embodies what I love about the McNally series. I would have to say that my favorite part of this novel is when they adopt Hobo. I do not know if others agree, but Hobo is one of my favorite characters in this series along with Archy and Rogoff, of course. I love how Archy is just... funny with his witty remarks and how he knows a tune to fit any moment. To Lawrence Sanders, I say, these books are some of the best that I have ever r ...more
Jan 08, 2010 el_quijote rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Murder mystery fans.
Shelves: mystery
Writing mystery novels is certainly not new to Lawrence Sanders. The frontispiece is loaded with the titles of past books and the dust jacket proclaims Mr. Sanders as a writer with a large following. This is the first novel I have read by Mr. Sanders and I can proclaim that he has another fan.
McNally’s Puzzle is one of a series of fiction mystery novels that follow the exploits of Archibald McNally, investigator and bon vivant extraordinaire. Mr. Sanders has created a likable, light character
Jul 13, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary mysteries
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
Bird store owner Hiram Gottschalk is a wealthy widower with a paranoid son and heir, twisted twin daughters, and shady employees. As the owner of Parrots Unlimited, Hiram believes that his life is in danger, so he hires playboy-turned-Palm Beach private investigator Archy McNally and his sidekick Binky to protect him. Apparently Hiram had good reason to be frightened, Archy soon realizes - when the bird shop owner's mutilated body is found sometime later.

Hiram has been stabbed in his sleep, so A
Feb 08, 2009 Heather rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Bertie Wooster fans
There is a lot more emphasis here on "look how clever a writer I am" than on the plot, or even the characters. Writing loses points with me when it has to draw attention to itself.

And I just can't get behind the McNally books. The style is far more Wodehouse than McBain. Archy and his foppish circle belong in the Roaring 20s, not the 1990s, and it is inconceivable to me that anyone like this could exist in the last couple of decades, let alone interact successfully with the normal contemporaries
Rahul Kulhalli
Sep 04, 2016 Rahul Kulhalli rated it really liked it
Archibald McNally has probably become my favorite fictional character. His playboy charm, his '800 watt' smile, and the meticulous ways in which Sanders describes his daily life; it makes one want to be best friends with Archie. Definite must-read for all Sanders' fans!
Mar 10, 2016 Joy rated it really liked it
Hiram Gottschalk owns a successful store that sells parrots, more parrots, and nothing but parrots. Why would that lead to a series of threatening pranks? Even after Hiram's murder proves his fears were right, there is no evidence to bring the culprits to trial.

Archy McNally's mysteries don't usually place him in such danger. It isn't just the lovable Hiram who he feels is worth the risk, there are other reasons for the usually lighthearted Archy to put up a serious defense. I found it was time
Margaret Blackman
Great series to lose yourself in, take to the bath tub, escape from life for awhile.

Written in similar style to Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe series, Archy McNally and Wolfe's Archie Goodwin must be cousins.

Usually a couple of twists to take the reader by surprise, pull up your coffee mug, or pour the Calgon, or take to your lawn chair and enjoy the ride in Archy's red Miata.

(as a pet lover, I do have issues with Hobo's living accomodations, but commend the McNallys for making a shelter adoption.)
Lois Lewandowski
Jan 05, 2012 Lois Lewandowski rated it liked it
This book was exactly what I wanted to read when I started it: A quirky, fast paced mystery with a unique protagonist. Archy McNally is a bit of a player, certainly a narcissist. He has a wardrobe to rival most women and Sanders' descriptions of how he uses the clothes to project a certain persona or mood were very funny. The plot is not very deep, but the book was truly delightful, full of characters one might meet in Miami.
May 29, 2016 Ed rated it liked it
#6 in the Archie McNally mystery.

Archie McNally mystery - Hiram Gottschalk is a wealthy widower and a man desperate to save himself from an unknown stalker. He hires Palm Beach sleuth Archy McNally, who is convinced he'll soon return his client's life to order -- but then Gottschalk is stabbed in his sleep, and two of his clerks are abducted and killed in the Everglades. It takes all McNally's skill to put together the pieces.

Nov 21, 2012 Gosia rated it liked it
It was an ok book. The writing was interesting and amusing at some points but also made some references to things that were over my head and not my generation. It could be compared as the male version of the Stephanie Plum series (however, Plum series is much better in my opinion). The plot was pretty predictable but the writing kept it interesting.
April Suter
Jan 17, 2015 April Suter rated it really liked it
Ya gotta love Archy! He now is helping a McNally & Son client do a discrete inquiry into odd things that are happening at Hiram Gottschalk's home. This parrot-loving man thinks he is in danger and everyone in his family and most employees look guilty. Archy and his favorite local cop is on the case.
Feb 17, 2011 Jackie rated it really liked it
Love the shenanigans of Archy McNally, especially as he solves the murder of Hiram Gottschalk! His involvement in the dysfunctional family to his personal tiff with his on going “love” Connie that tangles the web of mystery. Fun and easy to read-except for the flowery vocabulary- especially recouping from back surgery. Laughter is good medicine.
Jan 05, 2011 John rated it really liked it
The story kept me hooked until the end. I loved the writing style however I felt I needed a dictionary for the various obscure words thrown in. I also love the characters Sanders creates especially the snarky Archie. The only thing that bothered me was all of the alcohol consumed. Does anyone really drink that much and not end up with liver disease.
Feb 09, 2011 John rated it really liked it
Great story, clear and generally believable. Archy can be pretty tough on Binky, he puts him down a lot. I wish Archy didn't dress like such a metrosexual/gay, I wish he didn't smoke and his eating habits are beyond me. Other than that, he's my idol. Well, I'm glad I don't live with my parents, too.
Jan 02, 2012 Linda rated it it was amazing
I love these books! The vocabulary of the main character, Archie McNally, is a challenge to read, but I love it. I read as much for the vocabulary as for the plot. This book happens to involve a bird-store owner, his family and employees, and they all could be "the culprit" who murdered the owner. The story is good, and I would recommend this for a fun read.
“You’re awake?” he said. “And sober?”
“Of course I’m awake and sober,” I said. “And working I might add. ‘Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.'”
“You work for the post office?”
“It’s Herodotus, Al.”
“Thank you. I won’t forget it for at least five minutes.” (297)
Archy McNally is back, the spoiled playboy of South Florida who seems to solve mysteries in spite of himself and his inept sidekick Binky. I did say they were the spoiled rich of the Florida coast. What I learned is that nobody can actually talk and dress like they do and live in the real world.
Virginia Markhart
Oct 29, 2011 Virginia Markhart rated it really liked it
This book was very good. It kept my attention well. The style was very different and I had to pay attention. It took me a long time to read it, not because I wasn't interested, but I had a lot going on. I liked the relationship between the father and son. I loved the new pet, HOBO, the hero!!
Eileen Ptacek
Dec 26, 2012 Eileen Ptacek rated it it was ok
I couldn't wait to read this because my husband laughed out loud the whole time he was reading. What a disappointment. Protagonist lives with his parents and is very self obsessed. I couldn't wait to be done with the book. I won't bother to read another of this series.
Joe O'c
Sep 05, 2009 Joe O'c rated it liked it
Very Good; Continuing character: Archy McNally and family; search for murderer of parrot store proprietor
Jun 01, 2009 Ross rated it it was ok
Shelves: owned, fiction, mystery, 2009
I've determined that although I like Lawrence Sanders' books in general, I'm not a big fan of the McNally series. This is probably the last McNally novel I will read.
Joe Baganski
May 20, 2013 Joe Baganski rated it really liked it
Another amusing entry in the McNally saga. Absolutely love the prose - has me reaching for my dictionary from time to time!
Nov 13, 2009 Shishir rated it it was amazing
Shelves: witty
Archy McNally rocks! I love the way this series has been written - the wit is super and the language pretty darn good.
Oct 12, 2013 Jim rated it liked it
An enjoyable yet campy mystery tale of murder, with a quirky leading character that eventually (and accidentally?) unravels the unknown. Good for a weekend of relaxing reading.
Feb 03, 2013 Judy rated it liked it
Just a fun read. And I can see why Mrs. McNally adores her son and Mr. McNally is tried by Archy on a daily basis.
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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 Secret
  • McNally's Luck (Archy McNally, #2)
  • McNally's Risk (Archy McNally, #3)
  • McNally's Caper
  • McNally's Trial
  • 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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