Your 2012 Just Desserts hiatus reading assignment!

November 01, 2012 by sdc

During the Nov/Dec 2012 hiatus between meetings of the Just Desserts mystery fiction discussion group, we encourage regular attendees to continue to participate as a group...but in a virtual way. While we may not have an actual meeting scheduled during these two months, this blog is available to keep everyone active with their mystery reading and discussions.

Our "hiatus author" for 2012 is John D. McDonald, creator of the classic mystery/suspense series featuring Travis McGee. McGee isn’t a typical P.I. or detective, but instead calls himself a “salvage consultant”, specializing in recovering lost or missing items. His standard fee is 50% of the value of the item recovered. McGee lives aboard a large houseboat called “The Busted Flush”, which he won in a poker game, and which is now docked at Fort Lauderdale, Florida. McGee appears in 21 novels, starting with The Deep Blue Goodbye in 1964 and ending in The Lonely Silver Rain in 1984. The Lincoln City Libraries have all but one of the 21 Travis McGee novels (we are missing #9).

We encourage Just Desserts participants to read any book in the Travis McGee series (click this link to jump to the library catalog), at some point in November or December 2012, then come back here and leave a comment about whatever you read or watched, as a response to this discussion topic.

As a bit of background, here are some links to MacDonald and Travis McGee information:

John D. MacDonald wrote much more than the Travis McGee series. In total, he wrote over 40 additional stand-alone novels, in both the mystery/thriller, general fiction and science fiction genres.

We look forward to seeing your comments here over the course of the next two months! So…here’s your question: Which of the Travis McGee novels did you read, and what was your opinion?

Scott C. - Just Desserts coordinator and host


Tagged in: Just Desserts, mystery, thriller, suspense, John D. MacDonald, Travis McGee, reading assignment, hiatus,

Comments 4

Cathy Tallon said:
I always have to start at the beginning so I read The Deep Blue Good-by. I liked it. Although McGee said he would take half - he is generous with the women he helps. He is a bit loose with women but not abusive or mean. I liked the book and would read more.

Other books I have read recently:

The Dead Fathers Club by Matt Haig and
The Patron Saint of Liars by Ann Patchett. I really like Patchett. Also, The Betrayal of Trust - a Chief Superintendent Simon Serrailer mystery by Susan Hill.
Marlee said:
Read NIghtmare in Pink and The deep blue goodbye - what an interesting character. I did enjoy him - they are short reads.
Scott C. said:
Shortly after we announced the Travis McGee series as our hiatus reading assignment, somebody dumped about a dozen old paperbacks in that series into the freebie boxes outside of A Novel Idea bookstore downtown, so I picked them all up.

I'd been meaning to read one or more of the McGee series for years -- friends have continually recommended then. Fortunately, the first one, "The Deep Blue Good-By", was among the freebie copies that I picked up. It was definitely a book of its time -- in other words, for the early 1960s, it was probably great, but I don't think it's really held up well in the modern era. For me, it was a mildly entertaining read. Since I didn't love it as much as I'd hoped, I'm not sure I'll dedicate the time to any others in the series -- there's too many good books coming out that I DO actually love to read to spend precious reading time on things that are only vaguely interesting.

I'm glad I did read the one, though, just so I can say I've sampled the series!
Carolyn Kitterer said:
I just finished reading "The Dreadful Lemon Sky" and enjoyed it. It was published in 1974 and I think it has held up pretty well. The end took a sudden turn and the solution to the mystery was not the pat one presented, but suddenly a minor character becomes the major focus. I had to reread a small section at the end to piece it all together. I would read more.

I probably will not be at the meeting this month as I am babysitting in OK. I did read a Donna Leon book and loved it, especially because I have been to Venice. When I was in Italy this past fall, my friend has a Brunetti Cookbook, written by Donna Leon and it features excerpts from many of her books and the food mentioned in them. It is a fun book to browse through and even use to cook authentic Italian food.

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