Gregory Mcdonald, an Edgar Award-winning crime writer whose acidly funny novels starring the subversive sleuth I. M. Fletcher, breezily known as Fletch, have sold millions of copies and inspired two Hollywood films, died on Sunday at his home in Pulaski, Tenn. He was 71.
The cause was prostate cancer, said his wife, Cheryle Mcdonald.A former reporter and editor for The Boston Globe, Mr. Mcdonald was considered a master of the comic-mystery genre. The Fletch novels, nine in all, were praised by critics for their sharp, sardonic dialogue and mordant social commentary. (The journalists, politicians, Ivy League types and drug dealers who populate Fletch’s world are all equally reprehensible.)
The series began in 1974 with “Fletch,” published by Bobbs-MerrillThe Fletch novels have sold tens of millions of copies, Mr. Mcdonald’s manager, David List, said Thursday.Fletch made his way on-screen in 1985, in a film of that name starring Chevy Chase. He returned, again played by Mr. Chase, in “Fletch Lives” (1989).