Ross Macdonald (1915-1983) was the author of eighteen books that a New York Times critic called the finest series of detective novels ever written by an American : the Lew Archer canon, which included such breakthrough best-sellers as "The Underground Man," "The Goodbye Look," and "The Blue Hammer. " Macdonald (born Kenneth Millar) also wrote several novelettes and short-stories involving Southern California private-detective Lew Archer. "The Archer Files" for the first time collects all the brief Archer fiction: the stories from Macdonald s 1955 paperback-original "The Name Is Archer," the additional tales included in the Otto Penzler-edited 1977 volume "Lew Archer: Private Investigator," and the three then-unknown novellas presented in Crippen & Landru s 2001 book "Strangers in Town." Also included in "The Archer Files" are several lengthy, never-before-published fragments of unfinished Macdonald stories: case notes, as it were, from the files of Lew Archer. Edited by Macdonald biographer Tom Nolan, "The Archer Files" is prefaced with Nolan s biographical sketch of Lew Archer himself -- the character Eudora Welty described as "a champion" and "a distinguished creation ... As a detective and as a man he takes the human situation with full seriousness. " Jeff Wong s cover is adapted from the 1955 paperback original, but depicting Ross Macdonald rather than Lew Archer.