Ross Macdonald is best known as the creator of private detective Lew Archer and as the author of such works as The Drowning Pool (1950) and The Underground Man (1971). One of the most popular American mystery writers of the 20th century, he is often compared to Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler-authors from whom he borrowed literary techniques-but is generally considered more serious and complex, often writing about dysfunctional families in academic settings. This reference is a convenient guide to his life and works.
Included are numerous alphabetically arranged entries for individual works, characters, family members, and professional acquaintances. Entries for novels provide plot summaries, lists of characters, and brief critical commentaries. Longer entries cite works for further reading, and the volume closes with a selected, general bibliography. Entries are cross-referenced, and the book includes a chronology and detailed index.