Picks and Pans Review: Fletch, Too

updated 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/05/1987 AT 01:00 AM EST

by Gregory McDonald

The hotshot investigative reporter (who since the 1985 movie has looked like Chevy Chase) is getting married when a stranger delivers a letter. It is from someone identifying himself as Fletch's father, whose plane disappeared in a storm just after Fletch was born. Two tickets to Africa are enclosed. Instead of the planned honeymoon at a ski resort, Fletch and his bride wind up in an airport in Kenya, where Fletch sees a brutal murder in the men's room. The father he has come to see proves elusive. The newlyweds wear their heavy ski clothes through hottest Africa. There are diversions including a search for Roman ruins and an idyllic few days with a native who says, "When people look into the past they only expect to find good, good things. Supposing they find bad, bad things?" There is a surprise ending and then another twist. McDonald's Fletch novels (this is the ninth) are distinguished by sly twists of plot and light, fey dialogue unlike any other mystery writer's. If the story doesn't make much sense, Fletch's earnestness in the face of villainy is always good for a smile. (Warner Books, $15.95)

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