Archiie McNally
Created by Lawrence Sanders

The one-man publishing industry that was Lawrence Sanders created more than one interesting private eye. Laidback bonvivant ARCHIBALD "ARCHIE" MCNALLY was the last, but he was also one of the most fun.

Droll, detached twit "Archy" works as a private investigator for his patrician, august Palm Beach attorney father whose clientele consists of the wealthiest (and twisted) denizens of that exclusive Florida community. Yes, it's yet another one of Sanders' detectives catering to the rich and powerful, but in this series, the humour is played up. Sanders may have done this sort of thing before, but let's face it -- nobody does it better. This series may be fluff, but dammit! It's fun fluff!

Readers are advised to also check out Sanders' other gumshoes, including Samuel Todd, Joshua Bigg, Dora Conti, Timothy Cone or, if you're in the mood for something a bit pulpier, try out some of his pre-Anderson Tapes stuff with Wolf Lannihan.


After Sanders' death in 1998, the question arose, half-jokingly, I think, as to whether Sanders, in fact, actually wrote the McNally books. The first McNally published post-humously, McNally's Dilemma (1999), has Sanders' name prominently displayed on the cover (and so has every title since), but the copy right page reveals that someone named Vincent Lardo has been chosen by the family to continue the series. As one reader pointed out, tongue slightly in cheek: "Lardo has either captured the style perfectly, or he wrote the earlier books, too."

And another reader of this site, Jim Roche, wrote to say "In fact, I believe Lawrence Sander's heir disputed the right of the publisher to continue to use Sanders' name when, in fact, the books were being written by Vincent Lardo. However, the litigation failed and the publishers proceeded with publication."


  • "I just finished reading my first Sanders book - McNally's Caper - it was atrocious. I am stunned that he is so lionized. He was verbose, trite and annoying. At least there won't be more...."

    "If Sanders is indeed "lionized," it's more for his pre-McNally books. The McNally books were, as I said, pure fluff. On the other hand, the Timothy Cone books, the Deadly Sin and Commandment series, and several of his stand-alones are big trashy reads that were also often surprisingly smart, and nowhere as dumb as they could have been. And as for the series coming to an end, well, it looks like the fat lady was just practising. She hasn't sung yet..."
    -- editor
  • "I feel ripped off after buying the last book put out by whoever is writing or trying to write for Sanders. It took 250 pages before anything exciting happen it that book. I don't need 250 pages of what Archy is wearing or eating. What a sad disappointment after so many great ones."
    -- Jim Callahan


  • McNally's Secret (1992) . Buy this book
  • McNally's Luck (1992)
  • McNally's Risk (1993)
  • McNally's Caper (1994)
  • McNally's Trial (1995)
  • McNally's Puzzle (1996)
  • McNally's Gamble (1997)

  • by Vincent Lardo
  • McNally's Dilemma (1999) . Buy this book
  • McNally's Folly (2000) . Buy this book
  • McNally's Chance (2001) . Buy this book
  • McNally's Alibi (2002) . Buy this book
  • McNally's Dare (2003) . Buy this book

Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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