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Fletch's Moxie

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In Fletch’s Moxie, the prolific Gregory Mcdonald tests his incomparable investigative journalist once again with a caper that is as perfectly plotted as Fletch is brilliant. It seems just about everyone in Hollywood had a reason to want Steve Peterman dead. But how someone managed to put a knife in his back on a live broadcast without being seen is anyone’s guess. Unfortun In Fletch’s Moxie, the prolific Gregory Mcdonald tests his incomparable investigative journalist once again with a caper that is as perfectly plotted as Fletch is brilliant. It seems just about everyone in Hollywood had a reason to want Steve Peterman dead. But how someone managed to put a knife in his back on a live broadcast without being seen is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately for Fletch, his girlfriend, Moxie Mooney, a huge star at the box office, is also the number one suspect. With the police asking way too many questions, Fletch whisks Moxie and her drunken father, O.L., off to Key West for a little privacy. But before he can even check out the beach, the rest of the suspects decide to check in. Now, in a house full of Hollywood’s elite, Fletch is increasingly amazed at how ruthless the movie business can be.


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In Fletch’s Moxie, the prolific Gregory Mcdonald tests his incomparable investigative journalist once again with a caper that is as perfectly plotted as Fletch is brilliant. It seems just about everyone in Hollywood had a reason to want Steve Peterman dead. But how someone managed to put a knife in his back on a live broadcast without being seen is anyone’s guess. Unfortun In Fletch’s Moxie, the prolific Gregory Mcdonald tests his incomparable investigative journalist once again with a caper that is as perfectly plotted as Fletch is brilliant. It seems just about everyone in Hollywood had a reason to want Steve Peterman dead. But how someone managed to put a knife in his back on a live broadcast without being seen is anyone’s guess. Unfortunately for Fletch, his girlfriend, Moxie Mooney, a huge star at the box office, is also the number one suspect. With the police asking way too many questions, Fletch whisks Moxie and her drunken father, O.L., off to Key West for a little privacy. But before he can even check out the beach, the rest of the suspects decide to check in. Now, in a house full of Hollywood’s elite, Fletch is increasingly amazed at how ruthless the movie business can be.

30 review for Fletch's Moxie

  1. 4 out of 5

    Toby

    OK, OK, I admit it, I love the Chevy Chase movie about the Fletch character and until today I had never read any of the books that inspired it. So what prompted me to jump in at book 5 rather than start at the award winning beginning? For some reason a colleague marked it as a $1 book and I couldn't resist it. Simples. I think it's probably wise to go about it this way rather than being sitting here complaining that the book isn't as good as the movie or having my love of the movie diminished by OK, OK, I admit it, I love the Chevy Chase movie about the Fletch character and until today I had never read any of the books that inspired it. So what prompted me to jump in at book 5 rather than start at the award winning beginning? For some reason a colleague marked it as a $1 book and I couldn't resist it. Simples. I think it's probably wise to go about it this way rather than being sitting here complaining that the book isn't as good as the movie or having my love of the movie diminished by how good the source material was. The first third of the book flew past in a wave of Harold Faltermeyer's Theme From Fletch, Stephanie Mills singing Bit By Bit and my inability to imagine the dialogue delivered in a style and voice any different to that of Chevy Chase. There were a good few belly laughs and an occasional moment where I needed to put the book down to compose myself after an attack of the giggles. And then, I just wanted to finish it without stopping. Technically there's a bit of a locked room mystery about the 'case' that Fletch is investigating; seemingly an impossible crime committed in front of TV cameras but Fletch doesn't really seem to investigate it. Maybe it's his trademark style that runs throughout the series but I'm not sure of the point in an investigator who doesn't actually investigate anything, so hopefully it's not. McDonald's conversational style of storytelling works well within the universe he creates and in my mind at least lends itself very well to being read by Chevy Chase. The characters were interesting enough and the plot was really quite non-existent for a crime novel. I could probably draw comparisons to societal farces rather than crime novels if I put my mind to it but the names on the tip of my fingers keep slipping away and I don't care to think any longer in the subject. That and the inimitable Charlie Mortdecai in the series of books by Kyril Bonfiglioli. I don't know if I will bother to read more, but if any come my way for another $1 I'll probably put it in a pile of future reads.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Michael Johnston

    Fletch is one of the funniest and most interesting characters in the mystery genre. A rogue and rule-breaker, one never quite knows where Fletch's investigations and sarcasm will lead him, but the destination is always fun and the journey even better. In Fletch's Moxie, a long-time friend and lover, movie start Moxie Mooney, is the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. The murder itself is very Agatha Christie like, that is, nearly inexplicable. Moxie's agent and producer is killed on film during Fletch is one of the funniest and most interesting characters in the mystery genre. A rogue and rule-breaker, one never quite knows where Fletch's investigations and sarcasm will lead him, but the destination is always fun and the journey even better. In Fletch's Moxie, a long-time friend and lover, movie start Moxie Mooney, is the prime suspect in a mysterious murder. The murder itself is very Agatha Christie like, that is, nearly inexplicable. Moxie's agent and producer is killed on film during the taping of a TV show interview sitting right next to his client. He is stabbed in the back, but even repeated views of the film don't disclose who or how he was killed. Enter Fletch who was on scene at the request of Moxie and begins an investigation to protect her from being arrested for the murder. What follows is a hilarious and chaotic adventure involving famous movie stars, multiple police departments, a race riot and lots of arrests. My favorite part of the story is that we all expect that Fletch will figure out the mystery and reveal it to the police but in Fletch's Moxie, even our hero gets it wrong. The ending is a classic misdirection surprise ending, but ultimately all's well that ends well. Arguably one of the best books in the Fletch series, one doesn't need to have read the previous books in the series in order to appreciate the mystery or Fletch's counter-culture attitude and hilarious antics. It's a tremendously fun series and this is one of the best of the lot.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Robert

    It took forever to get through. Moxie herself wasn't interesting the first time around and is just as vapid and annoying here, The underlying crimes are the acts of a dead man so they really can't be presented with any excitement, and the theme of 'racial animosity in films' seems quite dated for a work printed in 1981, and even more so now. It took forever to get through. Moxie herself wasn't interesting the first time around and is just as vapid and annoying here, The underlying crimes are the acts of a dead man so they really can't be presented with any excitement, and the theme of 'racial animosity in films' seems quite dated for a work printed in 1981, and even more so now.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    This volume of McDonald's Fletch series is a humorous look at the Hollywood movie industry and the nature of stardom even though it all takes place on the Florida coast. Features are an on-screen murder taking place with all camera ras rolling, a stealthy getaway by Fletch with a picnic basket and the chief suspect super-sexy movie Star Moxie, a funhouse filled with Hollywood crazies like an altered version of a murder mystery weekend in the Catskills, rioting locals, race horses, and Cuba. The This volume of McDonald's Fletch series is a humorous look at the Hollywood movie industry and the nature of stardom even though it all takes place on the Florida coast. Features are an on-screen murder taking place with all camera ras rolling, a stealthy getaway by Fletch with a picnic basket and the chief suspect super-sexy movie Star Moxie, a funhouse filled with Hollywood crazies like an altered version of a murder mystery weekend in the Catskills, rioting locals, race horses, and Cuba. The opening scene was perfect as was the closing, but the middle seemed to drag with a whole lot of chitter chatter. A fairly decent read that fits in well in the Fletch universe, but it almost lost me wading through the middle

  5. 4 out of 5

    Andy Rausch

    Another fun Fletch novel. These are always good fun. Gregory McDonald was a master.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Justin Grimbol

    This book has lots of wildness and heart and dynamic characters. I recommend Fletch and The Widow Bradley and Fletchs Moxie be read as one book. Both stories focus on Fletch and his actress girlfriend, Moxie. These two characters have such great chemistry. It's really charming, relate-able stuff. I feel like I could read an entire book that is just them talking to each other nonstop, no breaks. Nothing but dialogue. I want that to exist. I want it so badly. This book has lots of wildness and heart and dynamic characters. I recommend Fletch and The Widow Bradley and Fletchs Moxie be read as one book. Both stories focus on Fletch and his actress girlfriend, Moxie. These two characters have such great chemistry. It's really charming, relate-able stuff. I feel like I could read an entire book that is just them talking to each other nonstop, no breaks. Nothing but dialogue. I want that to exist. I want it so badly.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hobart

    This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- So in the last book, we met Moxie Mooney while Fletch was still a working journalist. They'd known each other for some time at this point, and it might have been just about the last time they saw each other until now, sometime following Fletch's Fortune (when his tax problems were taken care of and he could return to the States), although she had visited him in Italy shortly before this. Moxie's decided she needs Fletch's help with somethin This originally appeared at The Irresponsible Reader. --- So in the last book, we met Moxie Mooney while Fletch was still a working journalist. They'd known each other for some time at this point, and it might have been just about the last time they saw each other until now, sometime following Fletch's Fortune (when his tax problems were taken care of and he could return to the States), although she had visited him in Italy shortly before this. Moxie's decided she needs Fletch's help with something, she's got some sort of problem that needs investigating, and who better? When Fletch arrives on the movie set for her current project in Florida, he's just in time to help her with a brand-new problem. She's appearing on a (pre-taped, thankfully) TV interview with her business manager—the only people on the set (or near enough the set) are Moxie, her manager, and the interviewer. So when the manager is killed with a knife to the back, there aren't a whole lot of suspects. Fletch jumps to action and gathers a lot of information (as only he can) before the police really even know what's going on, including an in-depth interview (that doesn't look like one) with the widow. He then whisks Moxie away to the home of a business associate in Key West, to keep her out of the spotlight while he can do some digging into both of her problems. Great plan, that doesn't account for two things: 1. Moxie's father, the illustrious stage and film actor, Frederick Mooney—known more now for a constant state of drunkenness is visiting her, too, and has to come along; 2. Moxie tells the director and most of the cast where she's staying and they arrive, too. Having a cast of movie stars past and present staying in one house tends to attract a bit of attention—especially when they're associated with an unsolved murder. One thing Fletch has done recently is buying enough stock in GCN (Global Cable News—a CNN-like entity) that executives take his phone call and pay attention to his news tips. This turns out to be pretty advantageous and helps with some of his research—this will prove fruitful for future books, too. Fletch investigates the murder in the way he does best—by talking to people and interviewing them without their realizing it and making phone calls. I just love watching him work. It's an intricate problem and Fletch's solution is quite clever. This particular book gives McDonald a chance to do two things—better explore Moxie's character (who might be a richer character than Fletch, but not one you could base a series on) and lampoon Hollywood and its approach to the art/business of movie-making. Almost everything he talks about in this 1982 book is still prevalent -- and maybe moreso. I have nothing new to say about Dan John Miller—he's a really good narrator and perfect for the series. I assume at this point, I'll hear his voice in my head for at least part of the time I think about this character in the future. This isn't my favorite Fletch book, but it's one of the best and a great showcase for both the character and McDonald. Amusing, insightful, smart and fun—hard to ask for more.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex Gherzo

    The Fletch books are tons of fun, mysteries that flirt with the line leading to hard-boiled but never quite crossing. There's sex, murder, some hard drinking, and a cynical worldview, but Fletch is so relentlessly funny that they never stray too far from the light, no matter how dark some of the subject matter gets. Fletch's Moxie, the fifth in the series, is true to form, and while not as good as the first two, a satisfying Fletch story. In Florida, Fletch witnesses the murder of a Hollywood pro The Fletch books are tons of fun, mysteries that flirt with the line leading to hard-boiled but never quite crossing. There's sex, murder, some hard drinking, and a cynical worldview, but Fletch is so relentlessly funny that they never stray too far from the light, no matter how dark some of the subject matter gets. Fletch's Moxie, the fifth in the series, is true to form, and while not as good as the first two, a satisfying Fletch story. In Florida, Fletch witnesses the murder of a Hollywood producer on the outdoor set of a talk show. Contending with local cops, a white supremacist group, and a phalanx of Hollywood narcissists, he tries to find the killer while romancing Moxie Mooney, the gorgeous star of the movie --who happens to be the prime suspect. *SPOILERS* One of the fun things about the Fletch series is that McDonald puts him in different situations in every book. This time, he's holed up in a Florida estate with a bunch of showbiz wackos -- two directors, a fading starlet, an up-and-coming leading man, and Moxie's father, an aging drunk who takes the craft seriously. In trying to solve the murder, Fletch gets a crash course in the way Hollywood works, from the underhanded deals that fund movie to the reasons why actors are so flagrant with their spending. It's essentially all about appearances, and Fletch seems simultaneously incensed and fascinated by this world that enchants everyone and that he's getting a chance to briefly touch. Fletch spends talking about the movie business seem like sojourns from the plot, but they're deceptively important. The entire time, Fletch is putting together pieces of the mystery, finding out how they're all related to the victim and why. And there's a desperation to his detective work this time because he's not just trying to solve a crime; he's trying to exonerate Moxie. There's a lot of sex and flirting, and it's made clear that the two of them are sort of friends with benefits who get together every few years or so, but as the lengths to which he goes to find another killer, and his longing to believe that she isn't capable of murder, indicates that Fletch really cares for Moxie. It humanizes him in a way his previous sexual conquests didn't. That doesn't mean Fletch loses his penchant for ironic detachment, though. He still quips a mile a minute, and the jokes suggest he takes absolutely nothing seriously -- belying how invested he is in the case. I'm sure it's a consequence of watching the movies, but it's hard not to see Chevy Chase as Fletch, and his brand of humor was perfectly in line with Fletch's (minus some of the wackier stuff). Fletch's Moxie is dialogue-heavy, as the other novels are, and it's excellently written. The scenes where he goes back and forth with the chief of detectives, with whom he seemed to share an attraction, are some of the best in the book. That's the real pleasure of the series, even more so than the mysteries: Fletch being Fletch. Fletch's Moxie is a fun and funny mystery that humanizes its hero while maintaining the comedy.

  9. 4 out of 5

    David

    This wasn't your typical Fletch novel. Fletch is asked to come and help his movie star friend find her father, a drunk old actor. Before much can get going, a really strange murder occurs. A man is stabbed on film during a television interview.. It is almost a locked room type mystery-- how could any of the people on the set have stabbed the fellow without the film capturing the actual murder. With his movie star friend/occasional lover marked as the chief suspect, Fletch whisks her off to Key W This wasn't your typical Fletch novel. Fletch is asked to come and help his movie star friend find her father, a drunk old actor. Before much can get going, a really strange murder occurs. A man is stabbed on film during a television interview.. It is almost a locked room type mystery-- how could any of the people on the set have stabbed the fellow without the film capturing the actual murder. With his movie star friend/occasional lover marked as the chief suspect, Fletch whisks her off to Key West while he ponders the crime. They are joined by her father, and before long, an entourage of the movie people. At this point, the novel moves far afield from actual investigative journalism that Fletch is known for. Instead, we seem him playing host to a cast of eccentric characters, most of which have some motive for the murder themselves. And-- at that point-- I would have just put the book down-- BUT The eccentric characters and their gradually revealed back stories were absolutely enthralling. The old drunken father with a reputation for playing in films and theaters while completely smashed was quite interesting. The black actor, tired of being type cast into roles and self-medicating with cocaine was interesting. The Australian director, fired weeks earlier, hoping for a chance to direct a real film in Hollywood. Everything about these odd characters and their history with one another and the deceased keeps the reader moving through the book. In addition, some of the Hollywood dirty tricks offer intriguing details that keep the book interesting. I was disappointed that Fletch asked very few questions.. allowing the "suspects" to slowly reveal details of their lives and relationships with the deceased. I figured out the murderer fairly early, but the how was something I missed, though it was clearly hinted at early on. This was a good one... I'm not crazy over the Fletch novels.. but this one was quite enjoyable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ian

    By the time you get to the fifth Fletch book you pretty much know what you are going to get - clever dialogue, decent mystery and a slightly dated narrative. This is no different, but the joy is in the journey. McDonald is a witty writer and this book has much fun with a group of Hollywood types who are all potentially suspects in a murder. Fletch's interest, as a newsman, is partly in the story but more in clearing his on again, off again girlfriend who is one of the movie stars, and definitely By the time you get to the fifth Fletch book you pretty much know what you are going to get - clever dialogue, decent mystery and a slightly dated narrative. This is no different, but the joy is in the journey. McDonald is a witty writer and this book has much fun with a group of Hollywood types who are all potentially suspects in a murder. Fletch's interest, as a newsman, is partly in the story but more in clearing his on again, off again girlfriend who is one of the movie stars, and definitely the favourite suspect, involved. I didn't guess the ending. A very decent read if you like the Fletch books.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J

    Decent cast of characters (pun intended!) and lots of misdirection, but at least one mystery is given away pretty quick as the plot unfolds. (For the record, I haven't read these since I picked up the pocket paperbacks back in the 80s, and I have to say that they've aged pretty well, despite kinda falling off the national radar as a writer; Chevy Chase's inane adaptation didn't help the books in the long run...) Decent cast of characters (pun intended!) and lots of misdirection, but at least one mystery is given away pretty quick as the plot unfolds. (For the record, I haven't read these since I picked up the pocket paperbacks back in the 80s, and I have to say that they've aged pretty well, despite kinda falling off the national radar as a writer; Chevy Chase's inane adaptation didn't help the books in the long run...)

  12. 4 out of 5

    Andy Davis

    Another enjoyable outing with quick witted journalist Fletch, once again fearuring on-off girlfriend Moxie who has now hit the big time like her dear old A list papa. The mystery involves a death on a film set. A large chunk of the book is set on Key West though there is not a great deal of local colour.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Shane Phillips

    Reading books older than 2000 on my to-read shelves. It’s interesting to see how they handle race, gender and other social behaviors. Fletch is actually more progressive than others. The mix of humor and mystery is well done.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kja2299

    Like most Fletch novels, this is another fluffy quick read. I will say, though, that for the first time in the series, this one did surprise me in the end. It maybe doesn't totally hold up logically, but it worked really well for this light, entertaining series. Like most Fletch novels, this is another fluffy quick read. I will say, though, that for the first time in the series, this one did surprise me in the end. It maybe doesn't totally hold up logically, but it worked really well for this light, entertaining series.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. A typical Fletch novel as a wild assortment of film stars gather around our hero, who is intent on proving that his on-off girlfriend and film star, Moxie Mooney, has not killed her swindling agent whilst on stage with him and recording a chat show!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cheri L. Bernd

    Love Fletch...I will always see him as a young Chevy Chase, as he was in the movie Fletch. Good fun read. I will continue to read all the books in the Fletch series. They are a hoot. 🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂🙂 Read the whole series.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Brenna Sydel

    Honestly, I don't know why I keep reading these. I guess they are good and somewhat entertaining, although I certainly have my issues about it. Honestly, I don't know why I keep reading these. I guess they are good and somewhat entertaining, although I certainly have my issues about it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lord Markham

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If you’ve read the earlier books, you’ll figure out who killed Peterman in five minutes.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bob Box

    Read in 1985. A caper that is as perfectly plotted as Fletch is brilliant.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Stuart Davis

    Good Not the best in the series, but all the right twists and turns to keep you in suspense till the end, with quirky characters throughout.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Terry

    Pure fun

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tavia

    St. Ann's Bookstore strikes again. St. Ann's Bookstore strikes again.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emmanuel Jefferies

    While I do acknowledge there is still an audience these books appeal to, I personally don't think this type of murder mystery holds up for newer generations. While I do acknowledge there is still an audience these books appeal to, I personally don't think this type of murder mystery holds up for newer generations.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Joshua Davis

    3.5. Direct sequel to the prior book, set several years later. Goofy mystery that involves Hollywood. Entertaining, and ends on a quietly humanistic note.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Annie

    These seemed to take forever…

  26. 5 out of 5

    Bobby Daugherty

    Fletch investigates a murder involving a money laundering scheme and a series of bad movies.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ed Sarna

    Not as good as some of his other Fletch books, but still great. McDonald was a master.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Poppy

    A fun peek at Key West and the movie business. One star off because I figured out the murderer before the end.

  29. 5 out of 5

    John Stanley

    Another pretty good 'whodunnit', good writing as always, maybe a little duller than usual, but still enjoyable. Another pretty good 'whodunnit', good writing as always, maybe a little duller than usual, but still enjoyable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gabriel

    4.25 stars.

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