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Publisher's Summary

Celebrated private eye Lew Archer is hired by a father intent on preventing the marriage of his daughter to a penniless and possibly murderous artist. The chase takes Archer from Mexico to Lake Tahoe and from the San Francisco Bay area to Los Angeles as more than one murder crowds the investigation.

©2000 KCRW (P)2000 Ross MacDonald

What listeners say about The Zebra-Striped Hearse

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Dull and dead voice presentation.

Ross McDonald,Lew Archer are excellent crime novels. Be sure you select the ones with the better voice intonation. Vastly improves your listening pleasure. Ed Asner is a bust!

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Good Production

This was produced by a radio station in Los Angeles, and it has some high priced talent. It’s quite good.
The last 3 chapters are a biography of the author. Skip it unless you’re a big fan.

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American Detective Fiction At Its Finest

If you cherish high-quality luminary prose interwoven into the contemporary fiction genre of detective novels— you must experience the brilliance and insight of American literary titan, Ross Macdonald, aka Ken Miller.

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Typical Archer mystery as done by full BBC cast

Macdonald is one of the best noir mystery writers from the 50s and 60s. His plots are all similar in that the key to solving a mystery is in the past and hinges on motives. Knowing this is of little help in unravelling any particular mystery as his plots are full of twists and turns and the end is usually a surprise. Unlike many modern mystery writers, whose books can be used for door stops (e.g. Elizabeth George and Robert Galbraith), Macdonald's novels are short as we learn little about Lew Archer, his protagonist. It's all about the mystery. "The Zebra-Striped Hearse" is typical Macdonald: Archer sorts through a basket full of interesting characters in order to solve several murders and in the end the reader exclaims, "I didn't see that one coming." This one is special as it is presented as a BBC radio production with big name actors (e.g. Edward Asner as Lew Archer). Enjoy!

If you haven't read any Lew Archer novels, don't be afraid to start anywhere. Each is an independent mystery as there is no character development of Archer, the tough guy hero. He used to be a police detective and is divorced; all there is to know.

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  • Js
  • 02-18-21

Ross MacDonald is a treasure!

if you've not read or listened to his works, please start now. His deftly wrought writings are layered, complex and, well, just perfect. This was my first. I believe it is the start of a roll.