Travis McGee Books

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The name Travis McGee refers to a series of mystery/suspense novels written by John D. MacDonald. The books follow the exploits of an intelligent womanizer by the names of Travis McGee.

Order of Travis McGee Series

#ReadTitlePublishedDetails
1The Deep Blue Good-By1964Description / Buy
2Nightmare in Pink1964Description / Buy
3A Purple Place for Dying1964Description / Buy
4The Quick Red Fox1964Description / Buy
5A Deadly Shade of Gold1965Description / Buy
6Bright Orange for the Shroud1965Description / Buy
7Darker Than Amber1966Description / Buy
8One Fearful Yellow Eye1966Description / Buy
9Pale Gray for Guilt1968Description / Buy
10The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper1968Description / Buy
11Dress Her in Indigo1969Description / Buy
12The Long Lavender Look1970Description / Buy
13A Tan and Sandy Silence1971Description / Buy
14The Scarlet Ruse1972Description / Buy
15The Turquoise Lament1973Description / Buy
16The Dreadful Lemon Sky1974Description / Buy
17The Empty Copper Sea1978Description / Buy
18The Green Ripper1979Description / Buy
19Free Fall in Crimson1981Description / Buy
20Cinnamon Skin1982Description / Buy
21The Lonely Silver Rain1984Description / Buy
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When he is first introduced in The Deep Blue Good-by, Travis is quick to emphasize the fact that he is no ordinary private investigator. Rather, Travis refers to himself as a salvage consultant.

Having retired, McGee spends most of his days on a houseboat where all sorts of shenanigans ensue, most of them involving Travis’ many female companions. A self-professed beach-bum, Travis McGee only ever returns to the employment pool when money problems arise. And because of his poor financial lifestyle, that happens more often than not.

Rather than dipping his toes into the ordinary work environment, Travis prefers to find things for people, hence his Salvage Consultant business description. The best in his particular arena, Travis boasts the capacity to find anything his clients want, so long as they are willing to part with half of the find as payment.

Travis’s fees are so high because he knows how dangerous the business gets. And if he is to involve his person in the personal lives of people, he must be properly compensated for any dangers he must inevitably deal with.

And the danger is often far greater than Travis bargained for. For instance, in The Deep Blue Good-by, a woman asks Travis to recover a fortune she lost to a con artist. In taking the case, Travis is roped into chasing after and bringing a serial rapist to justice.

But as an army veteran who might or might not have fought in the Vietnam War, McGee is no slouch. He knows how to handle himself in a fight and, as such, he has no compulsion to retreat from the mysteries he encounters while doing his job.

Travis McGee has been commended for bringing a new spin to the mystery genre. For all intent and purpose, the Travis McGee books should be categorized within the hardboiled detective genre.

But Travis is such a likable and happy hero that one struggles to see him fitting into the hardboiled classification.

Travis McGee Awards

John D. MacDonald received an Anthony Award nomination in 1986 for The Lonely Silver Rain. In 1980, the author took the National Book Award home for The Green Ripper.

Travis McGee Books into Movies/TV

The Travis McGee books have been brought to life in the form of a cinematic adaptation called Darker Than Amber released in 1970 and a television movie called The Empty Copper Sea released in 1983.

There were plans to give Travis McGee a television show but MacDonald rejected the idea because he thought it would harm the sales of his books.

Best Travis McGee Books

In John D. MacDonald’s heyday, the Travis McGee series was one of the biggest things in pop culture, with some of the best titles in the series including:

Pale Gray for Guilt: Tush Bannon was a nice normal guy. He had a family to care for so he avoided trouble like the plague. But then trouble came knocking on his door in the form of 500 acres of prime property that very powerful real estate entities were determined to claim.

Tush did not intend for his tiny plot to sit in the center of such an important parcel of land. And he did not know that there were criminal elements behind the bid to claim the property.

When Tush fights and fails to keep from being squashed like a bug, rather than walking away, he looks to Travis McGee, his own giant, to squash his opponents back.

The Green Ripper: Travis McGee loved women but he knew how to keep them at arm’s length. Sure, there was a never-ending train of women tearing in and out of Travis’ houseboat, what with all the parties he kept throwing.

But none of them ever touched Travis’ heart and he liked it that way. But then a girl actually snuck past his defenses, gave him a reason to hope, and then ended up dead. Now Travis wants answers. He isn’t buying the claim that an illness took her from him. Someone is going to pay and Travis won’t stop until he has blood on his hands.

Other Book Series You May Like

The “Holland Family Saga” Series by James Lee Burke is another great read. This series follows the exploits of the different members of the Holland family as they traverse significant historical events like the Great Depression and WWII in their efforts to find love, satisfaction, and lasting happiness.

Many fans also enjoy the “Spenser” Series by Robert B. Parker. Spenser is a former boxer and state cop who solves crimes in Boston, Massachusetts as a Private Investigator.

What Is The Next Book in The Travis Mcgee Series?

There doesn't seem to be an upcoming book in The Travis Mcgee Series. The newest book is The Lonely Silver Rain and was released on May, 5th 1984.

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