A bit of a slower, more relaxed reading month in August. Part of that is simply because I’m roughly halfway through a fairly massive novel that locked down the last couple weeks of the month. But still on book-a-week pace for the year overall.

100 Things Royals Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die – Matt Fulks
My step-dad brought me this book, which was a fun little thing to flip through between innings while watching games. There was plenty of cool stuff in there that I did not know about, along with a healthy dose of refreshers for trivia tidbits I knew when I was a kid but had forgotten over the years.

The only downside is that the book was written after the 2013 season. So while there’s a feeling of hope about the future in several of the segments, all the magic of last fall is missed.

The Fletch Chronicles, One – Gregory McDonald

(Consisting of Fletch Won, Fletch, Too, and Fletch And The Widow Bradley)

The Fletch Chronicles collections were put together in the late 80s, and gave McDonald the chance to put his assorted Fletch novels in order based on how they happened, rather than how they were written. Thus, Fletch Won and Fletch, Too, which were both written as prequels in the mid–80s – a decade after the first novel was published – become the entry points for readers to the Fletch series.

Thus we start with cub reporter Irwin M. Fletcher, assigned to drudgery work at the copy and obituary desks, stumbling onto a murder in the paper’s parking lot. Despite being warned off the story by his editor and the paper’s star reporter, he sticks with it and both solves the mystery and discovers a link between his arch rival and the police with the murder. All this while investigating a prostitution ring and planning his wedding!

Fletch, Too picks up immediately after, with Fletch arriving late for his wedding after writing his two blockbuster stories. Following the ceremony, a stranger hands Fletch two tickets to Kenya, claiming Fletch’s father, who he had always been told died before his birth, was alive and well and wanted to meet Fletch. Fletch and his bride take the tickets, he witnesses a murder in the Nairobi airport, and then bum around the country with one of his father’s associates after his father fails to show. Again, two mysteries intertwine and are resolved in a rather sweet manner.

Finally, in The Widow Bradley, Fletch loses his job when he publishes quotes from a man who has been dead for over a year. Or has he? Fletch investigates and uncovers a truth that is ripped straight out of 2015’s headlines.

All three are tight, quick, well-written mysteries. You can’t help but read each in Chevy Chase’s voice, even if the Fletch of the books has a slightly different persona than Chase’s screen version. I love McDonald’s dialogue, which has a snappy, 1940s movie feel to it. I really enjoyed these, even if they feel the slightest bit dated.

I don’t know that I’m going to work through all the Fletch novels, but I do want to go back and read Fletch, which the movie was mostly based on.