NEW! By Popular Demand...
The Fourth Flynn Novel:

Flynn's World
Excerpt:  "Ah, well, lad: Someone doesn't
approve of you all that much."
   Standing as tall as he could in the foggy
graveyard, Billy's head was close against a
   His right ear had been nailed to the tree.
   "Who did this to you?"
   Billy said nothing.

The Fletch Novels

Excerpt: "What's your name?"
   "What's your full name?"
   "What's your first name?"
   "Irwin. Irwin Fletcher. People call me Fletch."
   "Irwin Fletcher, I have a proposition to make to you. I will give you a thousand dollars for just listening to it. If you decide to reject the proposition, you take the thousand dollars, go away, never tell anyone we talked. Fair enough?"
   "Is it criminal? I mean, what you want me to do?"
   "Of course."
   "Fair enough. For a thousand bucks I can listen. What do you want me to do?"
   "I want you to murder me."...
   Fletch said, "Sure."

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Confess, Fletch
Excerpt:  Fletch dialed "0".
   "Get me the police, please."
   "Is this an emergency?"
   "Not at the moment."
   The painting over the desk was a Ford Maddox Brown - a country couple wrapped against the wind.
   "Then please dial 555-7523."
   "Thank you."
   He did so.
   "Sergeant McAuliffe speaking."
   "Sergeant, this is Mister Fletcher, 152 Beacon Street, apartment 6B."
   "Yes, sir."
   "There's a murdered girl in my living room."
   "A what girl?"

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Fletch's Fortune
Excerpt:  "Taxes, Mister Fletcher."
   Fletch blinked. "What about 'em?"
   "You haven't paid any."
   "Nonsense. Of course I pay taxes."
   "Not nonsense, Mister Fletcher." Fabens used the ash tray. "Look at it our way. Your parents lived in the state of Washington, neither of them well-to-do nor from well-to-do families."
   "They were nice people."
   "I'm sure. Nice, yes. Rich, no. Yet here you are, living in a villa in Cagna, Italy, the Mediterranean sparkling through your windows, driving a Porche...unemployed."
   "I retired young."
   "In your lifetime, you have paid almost no federal taxes."
   "I had expenses."
   "You haven't even filed a return. Ever."
   "I have a very slow accountant."
   "I should think he would be slow," continued Fabens, "seeing you have money in Rio, in the Bahamas, here in Italy, probably in Switzerland..."
   "I also have a very big sense of insecurity."
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Fletch and the Widow Bradley
Excerpt:  "Fletch, this time you goofed big. You're fired."
   "What else is new, Frank? How's the family?"
   "In that story of yours we ran Wednesday you have recent quotes from a man who's been dead two years."
   "I couldn't have."
   "That's what everyone's saying this morning. Very embarrassing for the newspaper."
   "Frank, at least give me a chance to check my sources."
   "Like who? Saint Peter? You get him on the line, I want to know."
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Fletch's Moxie
Excerpt:  "Listen to me, Mister Fletcher. We don't treat people like that around here. That little lady just lost her friend to death. Asking her questions like you just did is just plain uncivil."
   "Listen, man -"
   "Don't you 'listen, man' me. You work South, you mind your manners. You get away from Ms Mooney and you get away from this story, or you'll find yourself stomped."
   "That would be uncivil of you. In this business, there is no such thing as a wrong. There are only wrong answers."
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Fletch and the Man Who
Excerpt:  "Give it to me straight. Does the girl have anything to do with us? I mean, the campaign? The presidential candidate?"
   "It's your job, Fletch, to make damned sure she didn't."
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Carioca Fletch
Excerpt:  Laura said, "You are her husband, Janio Barreto... You died forty-seven years ago, when you were a young man, about as you are now. When you were this lady's young husband... You were a sailor. You earned your living from the sea... With this woman you have two sons and a daughter. Grown now, of course. They have children of their own. She wants you to meet them... She is glad to see you... The important thing is...that forty-seven years ago, when you were a young man, in another life, you were murdered... She wants to embrace you..."
   The old woman came to Fletch. She raised her arms, put them around his neck. Approaching him, her eyes were soft, loving.
   The hag's cheek, wet with tears, was against Fletch's. She smelled terrible, of cooking oils, of fish, and of a million other things. Her body pressed against his.
   He did not want to breathe. He wanted to gag...
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Fletch Won
Excerpt:  "...having people watching somehow enhances the experience, you know? Especially when you're doing it all the time."
   "Beats the sense of privacy?"
   "Sure it does. Haven't you ever don it in public?"
   "Not intentionally."
"Sometimes Marta rents us out for parties. We do it on the floor, after dinner. A guy and a gal, two gals, two guys. Really turns the old dears on. It's fun. You'll see. And the tips are marvelous."
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Fletch, Too
Excerpt: Bare feet in the mud, Fletch sat on the edge of the cot and tried to think about the decision. He felt cool, normal. There was nothing to think about.
   The decision had been made.
   This was right. This was normalcy. This was health. This was being alive. If he wanted to be open to life, health, normalcy,
rightness, he also had to be open to the decision, commit himself to it, act on it, because the decision was based on decisions made by everybody, everywhere, a long, long time ago, in the beginning, and those decisions, once made, determined how everything worked, life, health, defined normalcy, and if one, anyone, did not act basically within those deductions, or acted against them, or decided something else, then legs, which hold us up, support us, permit basic movement, progress, shatter, and shortly we are sitting in the dust, all of us, corrupt and cracked-headed, corrupting, awaiting the jackals.
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The Flynn Novels

Excerpt:  "Cartwright's a private school, " he said. Jenny was getting softer in his lap, as neither a ruby and diamond pin nor talk about a stolen violin was capable of keeping her awake beyond three in the morning. "What goes on there is private. The Boston Police has no right to interfere there unless called in. I think."
   The teacup smashed in his hand.
   Jenny's body tightened against his chest.
   The kitchen table moved closer to his chest.
   Randy's face fell forward from his hands.
   A flash of light appeared through Elizabeth's curtains, in the windows over the sink.
   There was a painful explosion.
   There was blood coming from the base of Flynn's hand.
   In the doorway, Todd screamed.
   Immediately, they were standing in the window of the dark dining room.
   The moonlight was reflected on the surface of the harbor.
   In the sky above the harbor a mass of yellow flames was whipping up from the huge, hot-red and falling bulk.
   For the moment, Flynn was one with his children, young, in Munich, seeing unrooted flame hating itself, escaping itself, leaping up from itself.
   Small objects, pieces of freight, people, some of them originally on fire, had blown away, downward from the plane, and were falling down the sky, extinguishing themselves. They sprinkled the moonlit surface of the water.
   Despite the thousands of times he had heard the sound, he remembered specifically he had heard this particular plane taking off.
   "A plane has exploded," he said to his children. No matter how old he got, there would be new things he couldn't handle, old thing he had never been able to handle. "It's all right," he said stupidly at the window with his children. "A plane has exploded."
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The Buck Passes Flynn
Excerpt:  "We have to find the source of this money," N.N. Zero said. "Who is dropping money - maybe millions of dollars - on unsuspecting people, and why he is doing it..."
   "And give him my address!"
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Flynn's In
Excerpt:  In the still, stark wood in a dark, snowing night, silently Flynn watched two men struggling quietly with their own mortality, their mortification, their pride, victim of their own experiences, their humanity, their handicaps, their dignities, their beliefs, prisoners of each other, of their own lives, of damaged bodies and believing minds, in fresh and still-falling snow.
   By the time Cocky had regained his feet, behind him, Hewitt, too, had stood with his shotgun under his arm and taken deep and, Flynn was sure, painful breath.
   With his free hand, then, Hewitt took Cocky's arm.
   "I can walk," Cocky said. He lurched forward and almost fell again. "It's just that my shoes are so wet."
   The hunter and the hunted passed the silent Flynn in the wood. Neither saw him nor heard him there.
   Struggling along courageously, back to their more certain futures, took all their combined efforts, all their concentrations.
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Flynn's World
Excerpt:  "Ah, well, lad: Someone doesn't approve of you all that much."
   Standing as tall as he could in the foggy graveyard, Billy's head was close against a tree.
   His right ear had been nailed to the tree.
   "Who did this to you?"
   Billy said nothing.
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The Son of Fletch Novels

Son of Fletch
Excerpt:  Michael said to Jack, "There are some escaped convicts around here."
   "I know." Jack laughed. "At first I thought Daddy got the pistol out 'cause my head was spendin' too much time in the refrigerator."
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Fletch Reflected
Excerpt:  "Who killed him?"
   "I did."
   Fletch said, "I killed Chester Radliegh."
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The Skylar Novels

Excerpt:  Skylar said, "I wish I could be around to hear you explain how come you shot someone while he had his donk out pissin'."
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Skylar in Yankeeland
Excerpt:  Walking around the hatch again, she clasped its hasp.
Then she said, "Rot in hell."
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The Other Works

Running Scared
Excerpt:  The first officer wrote nothing in his notebook. Betancourt glanced at him.
   "I've been sitting here reading since about two o'clock. A half hour ago he came in and said he was going to do it. So he went into the bedroom and did it."
   "And you didn't do anything about it?"
   The boy was holding the bottle in front of his face, turning it around, as if concentrating on it. "No," he said. He tipped the top of the empty bottle toward him. "I went in and saw him," he said. "I stood in the doorway and watched him. He was looking up at me from the sheet."
   The policeman waited, still not writing anything. "Go on."
   "Then he moved his head without raising it; he turned toward the wall, and he wasn't looking at me anymore."
Excerpt:  She came and stood close to him, and put her hand on the side of his face, cupping it along his jaw bone. He put his head against her and touched his lips to her wrist. He was surprised at his own reaction to this simple act. There was a warm, delightful sensation at the back of his neck and through his head. He realized, with some feeling, that this was the first spontaneous thing he had ever done.
   "You're very odd," she said. "I believe you truly feel something."
   He swallowed.
   "I do," he said.
   "You do have feeling. The girls said you were a little cold."
   He said nothing. He was not feeling cold...
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Dear M.E.
Originally published in US as "Love Among the Mashed Potatoes."
Excerpt:  Dear ME:
   This new column is driving me not only bananas, but apples, pears, nuts, and rutabagas as well.
   Can you believe a mother writes me describing her thirteen-year-old daughter's panties? Lord love a duck!
   When Jim told me his big idea over lunch, a column called DEAR MARK EDWARDS he said, "No reason why all these advice columns should be written by women. I believe in liberation. So who says women are the repository of all earthly wisdom? You've been liberated all your life."
   The booze had gotten to my head. I should never, never have more than two martinis at lunch. Especially with Jim Krikorian.
   "You've spent enough time on the desk," he said.
   The only thing I could think of is: This is the perfect way to screw Pamela. Pamela the philm critic. Wifey.
   A column called DEAR MARK EDWARDS.
   Even a forty year old journalist like myself has his vanity.
   Or maybe I should say thirty-nine years old.
   The new column sure is giving me weird new thoughts.
   Look! I'm even writing letters to myself.
   Dear ME!
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Originally published in US as "Who Took Toby Rinaldi?"
Excerpt:  Toby saw no one he recognized. Tourists wandered around. There was the constable; the girl dressed as Princess Daphne, handing flowers to little girls; a sad-faced clown, his white-painted lips curving down; an upright turtle, five and a half feet tall...
   "Hey, Toby..."
   Toby looked closely at the clown. His makeup didn't seem very well applied. And his eyes seemed odd. Only his right eye was moving, back and forth, back and forth, in some kind of a signal.
   Toby looked down the clown's costume. On the ground near his huge feet were a few drops of blood.
   Toby looked back up, into the clown's face.
   The clown darted his eyes back and forth again.
   "See ya, kid."
   Toby grinned.
   He gave a little wave with his free hand, only waist high.
   His mother did not see him.
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Excerpt:  The snow was black. Robby would have sworn the snow had come down white. He shook his head.
   Robby walked the four blocks around Thadeus Lowry's apartment house and found himself back at his front door. Although some people had looked at him curiously, and others hadn't seen him at all, Robby was relieved: He had gotten around the block without being accosted once. Neither had he found a school.
   Continuing to take Tadius Lowry's navigational advice, Robby went up a street, went left, and navigated an eight block square. It did not bring him back to Thadeus Lowry's front door. He went up another street, went right, and navigated a sixteen block square. In nearly three miles of walking, Robby found nothing which looked like a school to him. Nowhere were there iron gates, a gatekeeper's lodge, a long driveway with playing fields on either side leading to a compound of gray-stone, slate-roofed buildings. There were apartment buildings and office buildings, big stores and little stores. There were people hurrying everywhere, heads down to ignore anyone who might accost them. Robby began up another street, remembering Thadeus Lowry's comment that it was the law there be a school in the neighborhood (and that children are drawn to school as are ladies to hat shops), when the simple arithmetic of his search overwhelmed him.
   His next square, in the search plan, was to have thirty-two blocks each side. Was New York City big enough? Was he? If he failed to find a school in that square, his next would have sixty-four blocks to a side! Two-hundred-and-fifty-six blocks to a side! Five-hundred-and-twelve blocks to a side!
   Robby would miss lunch again.
   Therefore, at the corner, he stopped. He looked left, and he looked right. He went in no direction. There were blocks in front of him, blocks behind him, blocks to his left, blocks to his right. Blocks and blocks and blocks and blocks.
   Across the street there was a woman who had also stopped. She stood on the curb, squinting at Robby. She wore a brown cloth coat, overshoes, and carried a purse. She was plump.
   Robby crossed the street to her. "Please, ma'am, where's the piss?"
   "The what?"
   "The piss, ma'am. I was told to look for the school which is called a piss. I can't find one."
   "The P.S., you darlin' boy." Her hand clutched her purse strap firmly. Through narrowed lids she looked up and down the street. "Yes," she said. "You're lost, aren't you?"
   "No, ma'am. I just don't know where I'm going."
   Her right hand grapped Robby's. "I know just where you're goin', you darlin' boy. I'll bring you there."
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Exits and Entrances (Time Squared Quartet)
Excerpt:  "Men. Always make an excuse to go off to war, do something violent."
   "Testing the walls of existence," Dan said.
   "Consciousness. Consciousness as an excuse to tempt fate, see if you can get a leg blown off." She lifted his leg and put it across her stomach and rested both her hands on it. "I like your leg."
   "You're talking selfishness."
   "What's wrong with selfishness? Sometimes selfishness is prudence."
   "I think Dad is saying I should join the human race."
   Fingering the hair on his leg, she said, "You're human."
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Merely Players (Time Squared Quartet)
Excerpt:  "Come on, boy, " David said. "You need a doctor."
   "I don't need a doctor."
   "You're sick," David said.
   "I'm not sick."
   "You've got a bad case of blood," Al said.
   Eyes still closed, the kid tried to find the horn with his mouth, his mouth with his horn. "My blood."
   "Where did you get that horn?" David asked.
   "My horn." He blew the same wavering note.
   "We've got to get back to the club, David."
   "Not now."
   David stooped to help the kid up.
   The kid rolled himself up more. "Go away," he said.
   "Come on."
   Al took the kid's other side. A garbage pail fell over.
   "My horn, my horn."
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A World Too Wide (Time Squared Quartet)
Excerpt:  "But what if they do accept, and all these people land on us? By now, their backgrounds are so wide we can't possibly accommodate them, not on this old farm, or anywhere else..."
   "You mean they can't possibly accommodate each other."
   "You never could. Accommodate each other, I mean."
   "We're all older now."
   "People become more themselves as they get older, I've noticed," Ellie said. "The fantasies of their futures have become overweighted by the facts of their pasts."
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Rafael, Last Days
Originally published in US as "The Brave"
Excerpt:  "I came about the job."
   The blue eyes of the heavy young man sitting with his feet propped on the desk first studied Rafael's eyes, then scanned Rafael's thin body.
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Souvenirs of a Blown World
Originally published as "The Education of Gregory Mcdonald, Sketches from the Sixties; Writing About America,
Excerpt:  The first time he punched me, he had the preppy's grace to grab his workman's square, intellectual's soft hand and say, "Ouch!" as if he meant it, and the second time he hit me more softly.
   I think he wanted to say that he had been the best boxer, the best anything, to have come out of Lowell.
   Then he sprayed me with wet laughter.
   "Have you ever felt one-to-one with anyone, Jack?"
   "Yes. Neal Cassady. He can't be dead. Oh, God. He can't be dead."
   At the house he had said, "I don't speak with an accent all the time. I've got to get out of here."
   "Have you ever been yourself with anyone, Jack?"
   "I know another bar."
   I was to leave him, asleep, at a bar owned by his brother-in-law.
senor, is your own broken heart.'"
   "What about it?"
   "That's a beautiful line, Sweet Jack."
   Fourteen months later, Jack Kerouac died of a (brain) hemorrhage, in Florida.
Excerpt:  John Wayne:
   "What generation gap? When I was a kid and a man came back from college with a degree at twenty-six, twenty-seven, I couldn't hardly talk with him either. They got along with a few older people and a few younger people, of course, but the rest of us couldn't make head or tail of anything he said...
   "What do kids know?"
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