Fletch is living the good life in Italy with his ill-gotten fortune when a couple of Spooks show up and press gang him into bugging a journalism convention back in the US. Not taking too kindly to the compromising position he has been put in Fletch agrees to the 'deal' but fully intends to turn the tables on the Spooks. Halfway through his journey across the Atlantic the president of the American Journalism Alliance and Rupert Murdoch-like media magnate Walter March is found dead at the convention hotel with a pair of scissors in his back. In his own nonchalant way, Fletch investigates is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else following in his footsteps.
I didn't find this one to be essential reading. My main, and I guess only, gripe with the novel is that it introduces so many new characters (potential culprits) but never really gives them any real identity or uses them to further the story. It got a bit confusing around the halfway point as I was losing track of who's who, nor did I care what their motivations were. It's a shame because it's such a good set-up and I like it when Fletch has a defined mystery to get involved in, holding all the cards until the last minute, just like Columbo or Jessica Fletcher.
By no means a bad novel, just disappointing in that the suspense is ruins by a crowded roster of characters.
This I M Fletcher tale finds Fletch rejoining the world of news media but only because he is forced to bug a journalist's convention in order to keep the US tax authorities off his back. The IRS want him for failing to complete a tax return but if he did that he would have to tell them where he got his fortune from and how he can live the life he does.
Nonetheless Fletch launches into his new role with gusto, and the world of journalists, their habits and backstabbing, is laid bare. Once again he arrives just in time for a murder mystery, this time a newspaper owner whom almost everyone at the convention wanted to see dead.
It is an entertaining, if slightly implausible, story, and I liked the way news journalism was portrayed, which showed some inside knowledge of the area. Fletch finds his wisecracking more than matched by his colleagues (and while also funny this can border on the tedious)and he even gets sentimental at the end as he does a big favour for an old friend, while once again leaping free from all his entanglements with a single bound.
This isn't Agatha Christie or even Raymond Chandler. But it's not trying to be. Reading some of the other reviews I guess some people weren't getting the book they expected, which is a bit of a shame because their reviews might put you off a brilliant, funny and thoroughly entertaining read.
The Fletch (and Flynn) books are always about the characters - the story plots are great, the suspense and detective stuff are pretty good too but they are really more of a vehicle for a couple of my favourite literary characters, Fletch and Flynn.
I've read most of these books several times over the years and would recommend them to anyone who wants an easy page-turner that's guaranteed to give you a lot of fun and some genuine laugh-out-loud moments.
Don't take them too seriously and you will love them as much as I do.
Fletch is blackmailed into attending the convention of American Journalists and bugging their rooms for pillow talk. Prior to the conference the President of the Association, Walter March, has been murdered in his room. A whodunit ensues with a countless number of colourful Newspapermen and women in the frame.
I agree with other reviews in that there were a few too many characters to keep track of. Nonetheless, I enjoyed this book. It is mostly dialogue so moves along at a fair pace. Total reading time roughly 3.5 hours. I sniggered on at least ten occasions. I must admit my mental picture of Fletch is Chevy Chase.