Fletch’s Moxie (1982) – Gregory McDonald

Fletch is back! In the fifth book of the series, Gregory McDonald brings investigative reporter, and accidentally wealthy, I.M. Fletcher to Florida, where he has been summoned by his on again off again romance with actress Moxie Mooney who is on location shooting a truly horrible movie.

During prep for an on-camera interview, her manager (who is many things and most of them unlikeable), sitting next to her, is murdered. No one sees it happen, the cameras don’t show anything, and the most likely suspect if Moxie!

Absconding with Moxie to Key West, he rents a house from a ‘friend’ who doesn’t want him there, and eventually the entire cast of the film production follows them down, including Moxie’s famous, and famously drunk father, Frederick, her co-stars, a pair of warring directors, and a number of needy personalities.

As Fletch does his best to keep Moxie safe, he also digs into the mystery of who killed her manager, who had the motivation, and the history. Unfortunately, most of it points at Moxie, and the rest of the actors hanging out in the house don’t seem to care one way or another, or do they?

The quips and dialogue remain absolutely crackerjack, but I did have the actual murderer pegged pretty quickly, though I had to wait to come across pieces of dialogue that would support my contentions. But they were there to be found.

Of the five novels so far, this is probably my least favorite, perhaps because I solved it so easily. That being said, I loved hanging out with Fletch, and enjoyed the Florida sun with him. I love how he plays people off one another, and how the stories play out, and how he susses out the truth. Even if that means handling the Klan, protestors, looky-loos, and people who just want to point fingers at a famous person, and possibly a murderer.

There are some fun characters that pop up in this book, I do like Moxie, and there’s a police detective who shows up who not only doesn’t take any guff from Fletch, but seems able to dish it out as well, and keeps him on his toes.

He brings the Florida world to life in a relaxing, sun-bleached way, and watching the sunset into the Gulf off of Key West must be something to see in real life.

So sure, this one wasn’t my favorite, but it was still to hang out with Fletch, and enjoy McDonald’s creation, yet again. And I will definitely be coming back to see what happens in the next novel in the series, 1983’s Fletch and the Man Who.

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