The Mysterious Bookshop

It's All One Case: The Illustrated Ross MacDonald Archives

By Kevin Avery, Paul Nelson, and Jeff Wong
Introduction by Jerome Charyn

In 1976, the critic Paul Nelson spent several weeks interviewing his literary hero, legendary detective writer Ross Macdonald. Beginning in the late 1940s with his shadowy creation, ruminating private eye Lew Archer, Macdonald had followed in the footsteps of Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler, but ultimately elevated the form to a new level. “We talked about everything imaginable,” Nelson wrote—including Macdonald’s often meager beginnings; his dual citizenship; writers, painters, music, books, and movies he admired; how he used symbolism to change detective writing; his own novels and why Archer was not the most important character—“my God, everything.” It’s All One Case provides an open door to Macdonald at his most unguarded. The book is far more than a collection of never-before-published interviews, though. Published in a handsome, oversized format, it is a visual history of Macdonald’s professional career, illustrated with rare and select items from one of the world’s largest private archives of Macdonald collectibles. Featuring in full color the covers of the various editions of Macdonald’s more than two dozen books, facsimile reproductions of pages from his manuscripts, magazine spreads, and many never before seen photos of Macdonald and his friends (such as Kurt Vonnegut), including those by celebrated photojournalist Jill Krementz. It’s All One Case is an intellectual delight and a visual feast, a fitting tribute to Macdonald’s distinguished career.

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