John D MacDonald Books

John D. MacDonald was an American bestseller famously known for his entertaining thrillers, crime and suspense novel many of which were set in his adopted home in Florida. He was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on July 24th, 1916 the son Savage Arms Corporation staff. Later his family moved to Utica, New York in 1926 where he was hired to work for the Utica Savage Arms.

Order of Travis McGee Series

Order of John D MacDonald Short Story Collections

Order of John D MacDonald Standalone Novels

# Read Title Published
1 The Brass Cupcake 1950
2 Judge Me Not 1951
3 Weep For Me 1951
4 Murder for the Bride 1951
5 The Damned 1952
6 Ballroom of the Skies 1952
7 Planet of the Dreamers 1953
8 Cancel All Our Vows 1953
9 Neon Jungle 1953
10 Dead Low Tide 1953
11 All These Condemned 1954
12 Area of Suspicion 1954
13 All These Condemned 1954
14 Contrary Pleasure 1954
15 Contrary Pleasure 1954
16 A Bullet for Cinderella 1955
17 Cry Hard, Cry Fast 1955
18 Border Town Girl 1956
19 Border Town Girl 1956
20 Murder in the Wind 1956
21 April Evil 1956
22 A Man of Affairs 1957
23 Death Trap 1957
24 The Empty Trap 1957
25 Soft Touch 1958
26 Clemmie 1958
27 Soft Touch 1958
28 Cape Fear 1958
29 Executioners 1958
30 The Deceivers 1958
31 The Beach Girls 1959
32 You Live Once 1959
33 The Crossroads 1959
34 The End of the Night 1960
35 The Only Girl in the Game 1960
36 The End of the Night 1960
37 Slam the Big Door 1960
38 Where is Janice Gantry? 1961
39 One Monday We Killed Them All 1961
40 On the Run (Short Story) 1962
41 A Flash of Green 1962
42 The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything 1962
43 On the Run 1962
44 A Key to the Suite 1962
45 I Could Go on Singing 1963
46 The Drowner 1963
47 Deadly Welcome 1965
48 The Last One Left 1967
49 No Deadly Drug 1968
50 The Price of Murder 1972
51 Condominium 1977
52 Judge Me Not 1978
53 One More Sunday 1984
54 Barrier Island 1986
55 Hurricane 2014
56 Murder Run-Around (Short Story) 2015
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In 1934 John D. MacDonald was sent to Europe for several weeks, this adventurous journey sparked an interest in travel and photography. After completing high school, he joined Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania but unfortunately quit during his sophomore year. He worked at laborous jobs in New York for a short period before later joining Syracuse University where he met his wife, Dorothy Prentiss and got married to her in 1937. In 1939 he graduated from the Harvard University with a Masters degree in Business Administration. He later made use of his education in economics and business by incorporating detailed business swindles into the plotlines of his novels.

MacDonald’s writing career kicked off by sheer accident. In 1945 while still serving in the military, he wrote a short story and sent it to his wife. His wife submitted it to Esquire Magazine and got rejected. She then sent the same story to Story Magazine and got accepted for $25. After his discharge from the military, MacDonald spent up to four months writing short stories. Even though he received several rejections, he finally sold some to the Pulp Magazine and made $40. He then sold almost 500 short stories to western, sports, mystery, detective, adventure and sci-fi magazines.

MacDonald died at the age of 70 years in 1986 after developing complications that arose due to earlier heart bypass operation. The author wrote several series, anthologies, and short stories. Travis McGee series comprises of over 20 novels, The Deep Blue Good-by (1965) being the first book in the series. The series publication ended in 1985 when The Lonely Silver Rain was published.


The Green Ripper won the 1980 National Book Award for best mystery hardcover novel. Subsequently, in 1986, The Loney Silver Rain was nominated for the Antony Awards.


Several of MacDonald novels have been adapted into films. For example Cry Hard, Cry Fast was adapted as a two-part episode of the TV series Run for Your Life in 1967. The novel titled Linda was filmed two times, first during 1973 with Stella Stevens playing the title role and in 1993 with Virginia Madsen playing the lead role. A Flash of Green was adapted into a 1984 movie featuring Ed Harris.

The 1980 television miniseries Condominium was based on MacDonald novel and featured Barbara Eden and Dan Haggerty.


These are two best books written by John D. MacDonald, The Green Ripper (1979) and The Loney Silver Rain.

The Green Ripper: The eighteenth book in Travis McGee series. Now seeking to get to know why his true love, Gretel Howard, (first introduced in The Empty Copper Sea,) was killed, Travis McGee goes undercover as a commercial fisherman by the name Tom McGraw. He is only thinking of only revenge and the only clue that he has pointed to a fortified California encampment. Infiltrating himself into the group, which possess some militaristic bent, McGee now fully embraces his darkest side. Without feeling it or even expecting, he taps into a “great John Wayne Day when he is finally forced to act to stop the monsters.

The Green Reaper is a fascinating read; it features a different tone and theme as well, unlike earlier novels which focused on small-scale evil.

The Lonely Silver Rain: The 21st book in Travis McGee series. In this book we find Travis McGee searching for a wealthy friend’s yacht which lands him in the epicenter of an international cocaine trade which makes him a target of some of the evilest villains he has ever met. While contemplating his mortality, he discovers the surprise behind the cat-shaped pipe cleaners that someone left at his door. Soon he must fight for his life and unravel the mysteries surrounding him.

If you love thriller novels, John D. MacDonald books will be an excellent addition to your book library.