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Travis McGee Books In Order

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Publication Order of Travis McGee Books

The Deep Blue Good-By (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nightmare in Pink (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Purple Place for Dying (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Quick Red Fox (1964)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Deadly Shade of Gold (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bright Orange for the Shroud (1965)Description / Buy at Amazon
Darker Than Amber (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Fearful Yellow Eye (1966)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pale Gray for Guilt (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (1968)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dress Her in Indigo (1969)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Long Lavender Look (1970)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Tan and Sandy Silence (1971)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Scarlet Ruse (1972)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Turquoise Lament (1973)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1974)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Empty Copper Sea (1978)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Green Ripper (1979)Description / Buy at Amazon
Free Fall in Crimson (1981)Description / Buy at Amazon
Cinnamon Skin (1982)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lonely Silver Rain (1984)Description / Buy at Amazon

About Travis McGee:

Travis McGee has been around since 1964. He is a tough, PI -like salvage consultant, ladies man and knight in “tarnished” armor, who is known to recover goods that have been “misplaced”. His home is Busted Flush, a houseboat in Florida that he calls home.A 6’4”, 205 pound man with an eternal suntan, Travis McGee is a war veteran who played pro football until he was forced to retire due to a knee injury.

Created by John D McDonald, Travis McGee became the hero in a series of twenty one books. Anybody that has read one of the McGee series of books will understand why he is so successful. Traveling through the country and solving mysteries, Travis ensures that the readers are on the journey with him.

He provides a wonderful insight into his adventures by commenting on an fast changing America. His escapades are part of what makes him so endearing. All his tales come from a self enlightenment that he is constantly going through.

The Deep Blue Goodbye

This was the first novel that introduced Travis McGee to the world. This story revolves around a single mother – Cathy who was swindled by Junior Allen. Allen was jailed with Cathy’s father for a few years but after her father died and Allen was released, he made a point of finding Cathy’s family and stealing the riches that her father had hidden.

Travis McGee sets out to find Allen and make sure that Cathy gets her money back. Thrown into the fray is a wealthy woman named Lois who is kidnapped by Junior Allen. McGee makes sure that in between chasing the bad guy and returning the money to it’s rightful owner, Lois is rescued.

A great first book but the series just keeps getting better and better the more we get to know who the real McGee is.

A Purple Place For Dying

This is the third book in the series. Here Travis McGee is asked to go to a secret meeting the Southwest by a rich, snooty client. Unfortunately for McGee, his clients is shot and killed before he has chance to speak with her properly.

It turns out Mona, his client was hired somebody to get her money back from her wealthy husband; who she is sure is stealing her money. Because Travis McGee saw his client get shot, he has now become a suspect and needs to clear his name while sorting out the missing money.

This book is full of twists, turns and suspense and keeps the reader turning the

pages to see if Travis manages to save his own neck as well as uncovered a very complex situation in the process.

Novels By Year

* The Deep Blue Goodbye (1962)

* Nightmare In Pink (1964)

* A Purple Place For Dying (1964)

* The Quick Red Fox (1965)

* A Deadly Shade Of Gold (1965)

* Bright Orange for the Shroud (1965)

* Darker Than Amber (1966)

* One Fearful Yellow Eye (1966)

* Pale Gray For Guilt (1967)

* The Girl In The Plain Brown Wrapper (1968)

* Dress Her In Indigo (1969)

* The Long Lavender Look (1970)

* A Tan and Sandy Silence (1972)

* The Scarlet Ruse (1973)

* The Turquoise Lament (1973)

* The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1975)

* The Empty Copper Sea (1978)

* The Green Ripper (1979)

* Free Fall in Crimson (1982)

* Cinnamon Skin (1982)

* The Lonely Silver Rain (1985)

Movie Adaptations

So far Darker Than Amber and Travis McGee – adapted from The Empty Copper Sea have been made into movies.

Rod Taylor played our hero in Darker Than Amber, while Sam Elliot portrayed him in the TV movie, Travis McGee. In the latter film, the location was changed to California which cut out most of the Florida locals that were essential to the novel.

The Deep Blue Good-By will be made soon. Starring Leonardo Di Caprio who will play Travis. The movie is being adapted by Dennis Lehane who wrote Shutter Island.

Fox would like to make a franchise out of McDonald’s 21 novels and so far Travis McGee has been worked on since 2001, with directors such as Oliver Stone and Paul Greengrass tipped to take on the project.

Travis McGee is a character who can make the reader feel like they are on his journey with him. He may be tall, strong and virile but he is also a very human character that many people can relate to. Generally women love him and men want to be him.

Comparisons have been made to Jack Reacher and this is because of the physical similarities as well as a lot of the same quirks. Travis McGee is probably much more of a playboy which makes people want to escape with him on his next adventure.

The Busted Flush, the home of McGee is a 52 foot barge named after the poker hand, which is how he originally obtained the boat; by winning it in a poker game is moored at Slip F 18 at the Bahia Mar Marina in Florida.

As well as living on a houseboat, Travis McGee owns a vintage Rolls Royce which has been turned into a pick up truck and painted a hideous blue. It was named Miss Agnes by McGee, who likened it to one of his old teachers whose hair was a similar shade of electric blue.

This is the mode of transport he uses when setting off on another salvage operation with his sidekick, best friend Meyer who is a well known, respected economist. Meyer also lives at the Marina in a cruiser of his own. Meyer is a mainstay in many of the novels but remains mysterious as his full name is unknown.

John D MacDonald died in the year 1986 which in effect killed on Travis McGee. The end of an era came with the death of our hero. Travis McGee was a protector of women, weaker men and the environment and since the last novel there doesn’t seem to be anybody that comes close to him as a character in a novel.

The Travis McGee series is a set of novels that can be read over and over again, and you seem to find something different each time. To find a main character that can affect the reader like McGee does it truly a wonderful thing.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Travis McGee

8 Responses to “Travis McGee”

  1. willow webster: 10 months ago

    I have read them all & he’s very good. He also wrote some great Science Fiction under John D MacDonald

  2. Judy Joy: 1 year ago

    Recently recommended these books as a source of entertainment for a guy becoming very interested in reading, and, maybe become a writer one day. Not only good stories (I read them many years ago) but I wanted him to experience McDonald’s writing style. He was an excellent writer.

  3. Mike: 2 years ago

    JD McDonald has been one of my favorite authors for nearly 45 years. I have read most of his books at least 2 times.

  4. David Oates: 2 years ago

    And look for the other novels he wrote as he wrote a number of excellent books in various genre.
    While he was starting his writing career he wrote many short storied and novellas for the pulps. I have heard that some of the Ellery Queen magazines had volumes in which ALL the stories were JDM under quite a variety of pen names.

  5. Dan Grant: 2 years ago

    Magee and his evolution through the 21/books makes for a very interesting character and read. You will want to start at book number number one..

  6. Nice OldGuy: 2 years ago

    You’re in luck! This series sold in the millions, in several reprints. Go to any second-hand book store and you’ll come away with a handful of McGee’s; a couple of visits will fill out your shelf with the series.

    I’ve also found them available on public libraries’ ebook lending lists.

    And as previous poster points out, the big A (and used book affiliates) will sell you paper and ebook versions of all 21 McGees, as well as many of JDM’s 60+ other works.

  7. sean biwandi: 2 years ago

    Are the books still in print and available.if so where? please i would like to re read the whole series again.

    • Graeme: 2 years ago

      Amazon seems to have them all.


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