Books by John D. MacDonald

BARRIER ISLAND by John D. MacDonald
Released: June 16, 1986

"Slow to get started, tougher and darker and slighter than Condominium—but ultimately satisfying and quietly compelling."
The prolific, ever-readable John D. returns to the subject of unscrupulous land-development deals on the Gulf Coast; and this time he keeps things far leaner and sharper, without the emphasis on romantic/sentimental subplots that made Condominium a bit bland. . .and so widely popular. Read full book review >
Released: Aug. 31, 1984

"Okay by pulp standards, with glimmers (just glimmers) of the lean, quick MacDonald style to come—but not nearly as bright or crisp as the first collection."
Less varied, less engaging than The Good Old Stuff (1982): a further sampling of late-1940s stories from MacDonald's Dime Detective/Black Mask period. Read full book review >
LONELY SILVER RAIN by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 28, 1984

"Trav into a more cheerful frame of mind."
Travis McGee, Florida's favorite beach-bum adventurer and hero of 22 MacDonald novels, is having long, moody thoughts on middle age and absent friends—when he's persuaded by super-rich Billy Ingraham to try to find his stolen million-dollar yacht. Read full book review >
ONE MORE SUNDAY by John D. MacDonald
Released: March 26, 1984

"Harold Robbins' Spellbinder, etc.)—but readable enough to attract that big built-in readership."
Scandals, hypocrisies, and inter-personal tensions at the headquarters of a big-bucks TV preacher—in a competent multi-plot novel that's unexciting in its melodrama, serviceable in its soap opera, and far too preachy (and predictable) in its ironic-expose viewpoint. Read full book review >
THE GOOD OLD STUFF by John D. MacDonald
Released: Oct. 13, 1982

"Don't expect McGee or greatness, then—but, despite some uneasy attempts at updating, this is good-enough old stuff for low-key pleasure."
Volume I of MacDonald's best work for the pulp-mystery magazines—murder, crime, and adventure tales written between 1947 and 1952 for such journals as Doc Savage, Detective Tales, and New Detective. Read full book review >
CINNAMON SKIN by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 2, 1982

"But if MacDonald's formula varies little, the shrewd vignettes of places and people continue to be vividly engaging—and his masterly pacing ensures absorbing, taut reading every time around."
Travis McGee's 20th—which finds him enjoying life on his Florida houseboat, trying to keep his affair with hotel-manager Anne Renzetti on an even keel. Read full book review >
FREE FALL IN CRIMSON by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 29, 1981

Ever-resilient Travis McGee, on the mend from yet another lost love, is asked by Ron Esterland to find out who killed his wealthy, cancer-ridden father Ellis two years ago. Read full book review >
THE SCARLET RUSE by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 14, 1980

"Still, MacDonald is MacDonald, and that means top tension and fine detail—qualities that surely deserve hard-cover preservation."
First published in paperback in 1973, this is non-vintage but very drinkable MacDonald—as Travis McGee does his sidekick Meyer a favor by coming to the assistance of Hersh Felderman, an elderly Miami stamp dealer. Read full book review >
GREEN RIPPER by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 17, 1979

Travis McGee, aging and mellowing, is ready to settle down at last with the lusciously tall Gretel (The Empty Copper Sea)—who may just agree to marry him. Read full book review >
EMPTY COPPER SEA by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 25, 1978

"Reliable plus."
Travis McGee #17—and everything's ship-shape down Florida way. Read full book review >
CONDOMINIUM by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 21, 1977

"But MacDonald has brought off his move to a broader Florida canvas, producing a 450-page book that seems too short, leaving the mystery-suspense pigeonhole far behind."
The condominiums that Marty Liss built stand on Fiddler Key in the Gulf and seem to offer the dream retirement oasis, but life at the Golden Sands could be a lot dreamier. Read full book review >
A PURPLE PLACE FOR DYING by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 22, 1976

"Exigent as ever, particularly with McGee in his leaner, hungrier, younger days."
Here's that man again, that 110 proof man in his third appearance—it came out in paper. Read full book review >
NIGHTMARE IN PINK by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 11, 1976

"The pink perfume lingers on and McGee's in his prime in this 1964 reissue."
That Harry O-ish beach bum Travis McGee comes to New York to straighten out Nina Gibson, the grieving kid sister of his disabled vet buddy Mike. Read full book review >
THE DEEP BLUE GOOD-BY by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 8, 1975

"After all there's still that lovely sheen of sun and sex which is what counts most."
McGee, graying around the edges of his sideburns (at least he talks that way), assumes his simplest job to date. Read full book review >
A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 7, 1974

"Not the best — but full value in the series with that man at the height of his puissance."
L'homme ultimate sensuel, McGee (this is a 1965 reissue) decides to exact reparations for the death of his friend Sam, brutally killed at the moment of his reconciliation with his girl, Nora — leaving behind him the evidence of one of those priceless pre-Columbian gold statuettes. Read full book review >
QUICK RED FOX by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 11, 1974

"The story's not all that much (it's one of the early ones) but for many people McGee's sunburned macho is very operative however much you suspect it's only mantan."
. . . who has to jump is a motion picture star who has bought, and bought, and bought up some skin candids which could destroy her altogether. Read full book review >
THE DREADFUL LEMON SKY by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Feb. 26, 1974

"Assume and you won't be wrong that McGee no longer needs a vehicle — he just emanates like Brut."
A new one (i.e., the second to appear originally in hardcover) and even if the story leaves something to be desired, McGee of course does not as two young women put themselves in his soothing to stimulating hands — the first leaving a box with $94,000 in bills before her apartment is trashed and she is killed. Read full book review >
TURQUOISE LAMENT by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 30, 1973

"But there's a smashing scene at the end to make up for all that lost time when in McGee's own inimitable words life has been ""running out the bottom of the tube."
The most notable thing here is that this is the first time MacDonald has appeared initially in hardcover, although as he idles along, you might wonder what happened to what's happening since MacDonald has been so well established as one of the real hellbent storytellers in the business. Read full book review >
GIRL IN THE PLAIN BROWN WRAPPER by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 12, 1973

"There are others who precede her (a doctor, a nurse) and while the story seems overly complicated and diffused this time, ho one can knock its flushed allure since McGee's powers to persuade or seduce seem more puissant than ever."
That salvage consultant McGee attempting to reclaim desperate characters once again after Helena, whom he once loved, dies of natural muses but asks him to try and save the life of a daughter who seems determined to end it. Read full book review >
BRIGHT ORANGE FOR THE SHROUD by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Oct. 11, 1972

"The story seems simpler to begin with but it's edged with that hard gloss virulence everyone knows and likes so well."
The shroud's a housecoat, worn to her death by the young woman used as a decoy by Travis McGee in his attempt to retrieve some of the money Arthur Wilkinson, a nice guy but a schnook all the same, had misspent. Read full book review >
THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: March 27, 1972

"McGee is as muy macho as ever which is all his advocates and Heidi — she's back at the end — want."
. . . is deep purple and dark red in Cypress County (Florida) when a girl, one of Travis McGee's youthful voluptuaries, runs across the road and puts his car underwater while he ends up in the inflexible hands of the local sheriff. Read full book review >
PALE GRAY FOR GUILT by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: Sept. 7, 1971

"This is not MacDonald's best in his established colorfast series but he's still way ahead of the competition."
Travis McGee with "his full complete share of mouth," and Meyer, philosophizing all the way, try to help the widow of an old friend who had been squeezed and then altogether eliminated in a real estate project. Read full book review >
DARKER THAN AMBER by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: April 9, 1970

"The action is overwhelming and then there's that spanking display of the vernacular."
Travis McGee is the single successor to Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and in some ten paperback appearances has acquired an open-end following. Read full book review >
NO DEADLY DRUG by John D. MacDonald
Released: Sept. 6, 1968

"Trial trivia moves briskly in and out of libraries, but this promises to see its greatest sale from paperback racks."
Here we go again. Read full book review >
THE LAST ONE LEFT by John D. MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Jan. 20, 1966

This is one of John MacDonald's long-playing accounts of crime and punishment, heavily plotted, thinly characterized, well timed while supporting some five stories simultaneously. Read full book review >
A FLASH OF GREEN by John D. MacDonald
MYSTERY & CRIME
Released: June 15, 1962

"John MacDonald's readers will be able to assess the property value here; it's prefabricated but commercial, the taxation is low; and conservatives may want a few zoning restrictions."
A housing development's plan to fill in the bay of a Florida small town brings aroused action, not only on the part of home-with-a-view owners, nature lovers, and do-gooders, but also Kat Hubble, whose husband has just died and who had once defeated the project. Read full book review >
THE CROSSROADS by John D. MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: July 10, 1959

"Slick- and sexy stuff."
At the crossroads of Florida's Highway 71, the four children of Charles Drovek have built a motel-shopping center empire, but while they are very successful- they have their personal troubles; the oldest, Charles, is married to a hopeless alcoholic and in love with another woman; the youngest, Pete, has a swivel-hipped wife; etc., etc. So that the plan to steal the savings of old Pop Drovek, while it is carried out — by his daughter-in-law and her lovers, and while it leads to a double murder, is only one of several points of interest here. Read full book review >
PLEASE WRITE FOR DETAILS by John D. MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: June 15, 1959

"But all in all, it adds up to more effort than entertainment."
Some high to broad comic caricatures and a set-up situation ease off- into romance- and offer a vista of a Summer Workshop in Cuernavaca where some thirteen students come for a month to paint. Read full book review >
THRILLERS
Released: May 1, 1958

"A likable family-very vulnerable at the hands of a vicious killer- this has a real menace and momentum."
Sam Bowden, a lawyer, lawyer, happily married, the father of three, and a peaceable man is also a defenseless one when Max Cady, a soldier whom he had helped to convict during the war on a rape charge, is released from jail and threatens to kill him six times over. Read full book review >
CONTRARY PLEASURE by John D. MacDonald
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 23, 1954

"Rentals, certainly (but without censure), and a women's market as well."
Not quite as tight a narrative as Cancel All Our Vows (1953), this spreads its interest over the lives and loves of the four Delevans- and their children, and is an assured and accomplished reconnaissance of a middle western, middle class community- with the comforts- but not the security- which money can buy. Read full book review >