Monday, October 1, 2012

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter T

This week we are coming closer and closer to the end of the Crime Fiction Alphabet meme. Kerrie's Mysteries in Paradise is the place to see what other bloggers are posting and check out the rules. This week we will be featuring the Letter T.

Crime Fiction Alphabet: Letter T
T is for Travis McGee

Travis McGee is a fictional character created by mystery writer John D. MacDonald (July 24, 1916 – December 28, 1986). Unlike most detectives in crime fiction, McGee is a self-described salvage consultant who recovers others' property for a fee. McGee appeared in 21 novels, from the first book in 1964, The Deep Blue Good-by to the last book in 1984, The Lonely Silver Rain.  Travis McGee lives on a custom-made 52-foot barge-type houseboat dubbed The Busted Flush docked at Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. His clients are usually the people who have been deprived of something important and/or valuable (typically by unscrupulous or illegal means) and have no way to regain it lawfully. McGee's usual fee is half the value of the item if recovered. Travis McGee does have a sidekick of sorts. His best friend Meyer, an internationally known and respected economist who lives on a cabin cruiser of his own near McGee's at Bahia Mar.

When MacDonald created the character, he wanted the character to be called Dallas McGee, after the city.  After the Kennedy assassination, John MacDonald decided that name had too many negative connotations. He was searching for a first name for McGee when a friend suggested that he look at the names of the many Air Force bases in California. MacDonald's attention was caught by Travis Air Force Base, he named his character Travis. Beginning with The Deep Blue Good-By, released in March 1964, each of the twenty-one novels featuring Travis McGee has a title that incorporates a color.

The Books

The Deep Blue Good-by (1964)
Nightmare in Pink (1964)
A Purple Place for Dying (1964)
The Quick Red Fox (1964)
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 (1968)
The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (1968)
Dress Her in Indigo (1969)
The Long Lavender Look (1970)
A Tan and Sandy Silence (1971)
The Scarlet Ruse (1972)
The Turquoise Lament (1973)
The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1974)
The Empty Copper Sea (1978)
The Green Ripper (1979)
Free Fall in Crimson (1981)
Cinnamon Skin (1982)
The Lonely Silver Rain (1984)


  1. Scott - Travis McGee is an iconic figure isn't he? I've always liked that he sticks up for the little guy as the saying goes. A great choice for T!

  2. I did not know that all the titles with him in it had colors in the name! Very interesting!

  3. What a perfect choice. I really liked these books when I read them years ago and want to re-read them to see if they still appeal to me. Very interesting about how MacDonald chose the name. Where did you get that image of the Busted Flush.

  4. Hey Scott!! I was hoping you could help me with something. I work at the Bahia Mar Yachting Center in Fort Lauderdale and we are working on putting something together for fellow Travis McGee fans! Can you please reach out to me when you have a moment? 954.627.6309 - Please ask for Kay. Thanks!