Authors > John D. MacDonald

From 1946 to the end of the pulp era in 1952, John D. MacDonald authored hundreds of stories across all genres. His stories were incredibly popular with editors requesting him to publish under various pen names so that he could have more than one story published per pulp magazine issue. This prolific writing period allowed MacDonald to quickly develop his writing style and refine his skills in the mystery and suspense genres.

During the 1950s, John D. authored a number of stand alone novels for the emerging Paperback Original marketplace. His most famous work, The Executioners aka Cape Fear was a best seller and twice made into a successful film.

In the early 1960s, he carefully considered if he wanted to devote himself to writing a long running series. He sat down and wrote four novels at the same time, trying out ideas and seeing if he was comfortable with where he could go with the characters. Pleased with the efforts he sent the manuscripts out.

In 1964, the first four Travis McGee stories were published, with four more coming quickly in 1966 and 1967. The McGee best selling series became wildly successful and continues to attract new fans today. McGee has his roots in the tough guy, hardboiled detective genre but he also has the intelligent, calculating smarts required for a modern day "Salvage Consultant". Not quite a private investigator, but he's someone you turn to when you need a wrong to be righted or a murder to be avenged.

Told in the first person style, the Travis McGee stories provides a time capsule into past historical eras without being dated and plenty of thoughtful social commentary. Add the Travis McGee stories to your reading list.

"John D. MacDonald was the great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller." -- Stephen King

"As a young writer, all I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me." -- Dean Koontz

"John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place."--Jonathan Kellerman

"John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all us in the field. Talk about the best."--Mary Higgins Clark

"Travis McGee is the last of the great knights-errant: honorable, sensual, skillful, and tough. I can't think of anyone who has replaced him. I can't think of anyone who would dare."--Donald Westlake

"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

Featured Titles:

Cape Fear

How far would you go to save your family? In John D. MacDonald's iconic masterwork of suspense, the inspiration for not one but two Hollywood hits, a mild-mannered family is tormented by an obsessed criminal--and with the authorities powerless to protect them, they must take the law into their own hands.

Year: 1958     Genre: SuspenseThriller

The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything

From John D. MacDonald, one of the enduring American novelists of the twentieth century, comes a science fiction classic with a timeless premise. An aimless young man discovers a way to stop the world in its tracks--and that's when his life truly begins

Year: 1962     Genre: Family SecretsFantasy

A Purple Place for Dying

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.

Year: 1964     Genre: Private Eye

Nightmare in Pink

Travis McGee's permanent address is the Busted Flush, Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale, and there isn't a hell of a lot that compels him to leave it. Except maybe a call from an old army buddy who needs a favor. If it wasn't for him, McGee might not be alive. For that kind of friend, Travis McGee will travel almost anywhere, even New York City. Especially when there's a damsel in distress.

Year: 1964     Genre:

The Deep Blue Good-By

McGee isn't particularly strapped for cash, but how can anyone say no to Cathy, a sweet backwoods girl who's been tortured repeatedly by her manipulative ex-boyfriend Junior Allen? What Travis isn't anticipating is just how many women Junior has torn apart and left in his wake. Enter Junior's latest victim, Lois Atkinson.

Year: 1964     Genre: Private Eye

A Deadly Shade of Gold

Deception. Betrayal. Heartbreak. When Sam left his girlfriend, Nora, and vanished from Fort Lauderdale, no one was surprised. But when he shows up three years later lying in a pool of his own blood, people start to ask questions. And his old friend Travis McGee is left to find answers.

Year: 1965     Genre: Private EyeStolen Goods

Jul 24, 1916 -- Dec 28, 1986

Series & Characters

Primary Genres & Topics

External Links

See Also: Authors




1950The Brass Cupcake 
1958Cape Fear Suspense, Thriller
1960The End of the Night Crime Fiction
1962A Flash of Green Suspense
1962The Girl, the Gold Watch & Everything Family Secrets, Fantasy, Miami
1964A Purple Place for Dying Private Eye, Travis McGee
1964Nightmare in Pink Travis McGee
1964The Deep Blue Good-By Private Eye, Travis McGee
1964The Quick Red Fox Extortion, Travis McGee, Hollywood
1965A Deadly Shade of Gold Private Eye, Stolen Goods, Travis McGee, Cuba, Los Angeles , Mexico
1965Bright Orange for the Shroud Travis McGee
1966Darker Than Amber Travis McGee
1966One Fearful Yellow Eye Extortion, Travis McGee
1968Pale Gray for Guilt Travis McGee
1968The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper Travis McGee
1969Dress Her in Indigo Missing Person, Travis McGee
1970The Long Lavender Look Travis McGee
1971A Tan and Sandy Silence Missing Person, Private Eye, Travis McGee
1973The Scarlet Ruse Travis McGee
1973The Turquoise Lament Travis McGee
1975The Dreadful Lemon Sky Travis McGee
1977Condominium Suspense
1978The Empty Copper Sea Travis McGee
1979The Green Ripper Revenge, Travis McGee
1981Free Fall in Crimson Travis McGee
1982Cinnamon Skin Travis McGee
1985The Lonely Silver Rain Travis McGee