M.L. Rudolph's Reviews > The Zebra-Striped Hearse

The Zebra-Striped Hearse by Ross Macdonald
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Dec 14, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: who-done-ems
Read from October 15 to 20, 2011

1962. The tenth Lew Archer novel, California, early sixties, pre-hippies, WWII still well-remembered, freeways under construction, roads uncrowded, the border with Mexico safe and porous, and a woman walks into Archer's office concerned about her ex. The ex, a Colonel Blackwell, arrives later, concerned about his daughter, who's fallen for a penniless painter in Mexico. Blackwell hires Archer to check out the painter whom he dislikes, distrusts, and wants out of his daughter's life. The daughter stands to inherit a bundle in about six months. She resembles her father, which means she's hard on the eyes and insecure about her looks, and her ovebearing father is convinced no one would fall in love with her except for her money. But the daughter's in love, and for once she's disobeying her Dad.

Archer takes the case which moves him around the state, north, south, east, and down to an American community in Mexico where along the way the bodies pile up. And the daughter goes missing.

Archer is a great companion, not as wise-cracking as some, thankfully, but a clever commentator on his life and world. Crisp narration and twists in the tale make this a fine example of mid-century California noir, before the sixties went wild.

Ross Macdonald is a master of his genre, and though I haven't read many of his books, based on this one I'll be stocking up.

4 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Zebra-Striped Hearse.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

George A good book.

message 2: by Jim (new)

Jim Nice review!

M.L. Rudolph Jim wrote: "Nice review!"

Thanks. BTW, this link doesn't work:


back to top