Gregory Mcdonald (February 15, 1937 — September 7, 2008) was an American mystery writer best known for his character Irwin Maurice Fletcher, an investigative reporter otherwise known as "Fletch." Fletch was later played by Chevy Chase in the movie of the same name. The Fletch series, consisting of nine novels, also spawned the 'Flynn' series, as well as the 'Son of Fletch' series.
Two of the Fletch books have earned Edgar Awards from the Mystery Writers of America: Fletch was named Best First Novel in 1975, and Confess, Fletch won for Best Paperback Original in 1977. This is the only time a novel and its sequel won back-to-back Edgars.
In Confess, Fletch, Mcdonald introduced another character, Inspector Francis Xavier Flynn, a brilliant but eccentric police detective who serves as a foil for Fletch. Flynn would go on to appear in four of his own spin-off novels: Flynn, The Buck Passes Flynn, Flynn's In and Flynn's World.
In the novel Son of Fletch, Mcdonald introduced the character of Jack Faoni, who is said to be the illegitimate son of Irwin Maurice Fletcher.
He has also written two novels in the Skylar series, as well as a number of non-series (and non-mystery) novels.
Mcdonald was born in Shrewsbury, Massachusetts. He was educated at Harvard, paying his own way by operating yachts, and worked as a teacher before becoming a journalist for the Boston Globe in the late 1960s. He finally left his newspaper position to become a novelist full-time with the publication of Fletch. In the mid-1980s, he moved to Tennessee, buying and operating an antebellum farm and getting involved in the local politics. He died in Giles County, Tennessee in 2008.