From a beloved master of crime fiction, A Purple Place for Dying is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat. Travis McGee’s taking his retirement in installments while he’s still young enough to enjoy it. But sooner or later, his money runs out and he has to work. This time McGee’s lured out West to a strangely secretive meeting with a woman in trouble, in a place whose beauty hides some ugly, dangerous secrets. “John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place.”—Jonathan Kellerman Mona is in love with a poor, young college professor and married to a wealthy man whom she is convinced is stealing from her trust fund. So she does what any self-respecting girl would do: She hires someone to steal her money back so she can run away with the love of her life. Travis isn’t sure he wants to help out until he sees Mona getting shot and killed out on the cliffs near her cabin. Now he’s a lead suspect in a plot to help her escape, and to clear his name, he needs to get to the bottom of things. But the murders just keep mounting, and for Travis, even working with Mona’s husband doesn’t seem to help matters. Will he be able to uncover the complex plot in time to save his own skin? Features a new Introduction by Lee Child
a purple place for dying
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'MacDonald had a huge influence on me . . . Reacher is like a fully detached version of Travis McGee' LEE CHILD Travis McGee isn’t your typical knight in shining armour. He only works when his cash runs out, and his rule is simple: He’ll help you find whatever was taken from you, as long as he can keep half. 32-year-old Mona is in love with a poor, young college professor, but is trapped in a marriage with a wealthy businessman whom she is convinced is stealing from her trust fund. To get out, she does what any self-respecting woman would do: She hires someone to steal her money back so she can run away with the man she loves. Travis McGee isn’t sure he wants to help out...until he sees Mona shot dead on the cliffs near her cabin. But when he arrives at the scene, her body is gone. And there’s no trace of them ever having met. Will Travis prove that what he saw was real, and unravel a complex murder web, in time to save his own skin? First published in 1964, A Purple Place for Dying features an introduction by Lee Child JOHN D. MACDONALD: A GRAND MASTER CRIME WRITER 'The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller' - Stephen King 'Travis McGee is my favourite fiction detective. He’s great because he has a philosophical side – he will fight a bunch of mobsters in a car park and then have a muse about life, the universe and everything' - Tony Parsons 'Travis McGee is my favourite fiction detective. He’s great because he has a philosophical side – he will fight a bunch of mobsters in a car park and then have a muse about life, the universe and everything' - Tony Parsons 'A dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character . . . I envy the generation of readers just discovering Travis McGee' - Sue Grafton 'The consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author and they retain a remarkable sense of freshness' - Jonathan Kellerman '. . . my favorite novelist of all time' - Dean Koontz 'A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field' - Mary Higgins Clark 'What a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again' - Ed McBain 'There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again . . . He is the all-time master of the American mystery novel' - John Saul
Travis McGee sets out to find the killer of his almost-client, a woman who claimed her husband wanted her inheritance.
The hard-boiled private detective is among the most recognizable characters in popular fiction since the 1920s—a tough product of a violent world, in which police forces are inadequate and people with money can choose private help when facing threatening circumstances. Though a relatively recent arrival, the hard-boiled detective has undergone steady development and assumed diverse forms. This critical study analyzes the character of the hard-boiled detective, from literary antecedents through the early 21st century. It follows change in the novels through three main periods: the Early (roughly 1927–1955), during which the character was defined by such writers as Carroll John Daly, Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler; the Transitional, evident by 1964 in the works of John D. MacDonald and Michael Collins, and continuing to around 1977 via Joseph Hansen, Bill Pronzini and others; and the Modern, since the late 1970s, during which such writers as Loren D. Estleman, Liza Cody, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton and many others have expanded the genre and the detective character. Themes such as violence, love and sexuality, friendship, space and place, and work are examined throughout the text. Instructors considering this book for use in a course may request an examination copy here.
This work explores John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series, with special emphasis on MacDonald's examination of the conflicts and joys of twentieth-century American culture and society. MacDonald describes himself as a moralist and this, combined with his narrative gifts, infuses his ever-present concerns for the quality and durability of American life. The first and last chapters, respectively, discuss MacDonald's early novels and the four he wrote concurrently with the series. The remaining chapters analyze various themes that figure prominently in the series. MacDonald's thinking reflects many of the concerns of his fellow citizens during his writing career while revealing his own personal reaction to the society around him. Noting his sense of an uncaused evil in the world and his prolific inventiveness, this work examines MacDonald's narrative exploration of America in which he reveals an unwillingness to give up either his frequently pessimistic views of society or the hope that it can somehow continue. His posthumous Reading for Survival sounds the latter note in typical MacDonald fashion: Read and learn or die. McGee, in the hard-boiled detective tradition, exemplifies MacDonald's picture of the struggling, but coping, culture with no guarantees for the future.
"To diggers a thousand years from now...the works of John D. MacDonald would be a treasure on the order of the tomb of Tutankhamen." Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. A wealthy old man laid up in the hospital is desperate to understand the last months of his daughter's life before she was killed in a car crash in Mexico. It was puzzling. She'd cleaned out her considerable bank account, left Miami and hadn't been heard from again. Travis McGee ventures into the steep hills and strange backwoods of Oaxaca through a bizarre world of dropouts, drug freaks, and kinky rich people--and begins to suspect the beautiful girl's death was no accident....
100 American Crime Writers features discussion and analysis of the lives of crime writers and their key works, examining the developments in American crime writing from the Golden Age to hardboiled detective fiction. This study is essential to scholars and an ideal introduction to crime fiction for anyone who enjoys this fascinating genre.