Another treasure from John D
An interesting book by another underrated, lost, and almost forgotten novelist. This one is murder mystery in the vein of Mary Roberts Rinehart, Dorothy L. Sayers, Dashiell Hammett, and Raymond Chandler. One of the Travis McGee novels all titled to include a hue from the color spectrum. McGee, something other than a professional detective, has the qualities of a Sam Spade, or Philip Marlowe, bedding down the best of the dames (although not all of themhe does pass on some), but always with a more polished prose. The author, always the sociological sexologist, is up to tune. Not a shabby read for a quiet evening or two.
"Dreadful Lemon Sky," MacDonald's 13th in the Travis McGee series, is vintage McGee. I would put it right up there with the best of them, "Green Ripper" and "Bright Orange Shroud." It boggles my mind that MacDonald could write the abominable loser "Turquoise Lament" in 1973, and turn around and write this sparkling gem in 1974.
Carrie, a blast from the past, pays McGee a surprise visit aboard the Busted Flush with a suitcase full of suspicious money. She asks him to keep it safe for her, keep a $10,000 "fee," and if she does not return for it in two weeks, send it to her sister. Two weeks later and no Carrie; McGee goes out to earn his fee. Carrie has died in a car "accident." McGee mounts his white horse and vows vengeance for the lady. He finds drugs, danger, more action than even he bargained for, and meets a load of fascinating (if not righteous) characters. He discovers an all too happy singles only apartment complex apparently fueled by marijuana and presided over by a Big Daddy who is the benevolent landlord. A mysterious newly widowed Cindy Birdsong plays his Bond girl role, if somewhat diffidently. The locale is all Florida, purely Florida.
"Dreadful Lemon Sky" is superbly plotted with a surprising number of twists and turns for a MacDonald book. The character vignettes are sharp and right on the money. This is a Travis McGee not to be missed.
AMAZON.COM READER'S REVIEW
Hero of THE DREADFUL LEMON SKY is Travis McGee, a man of universal interest and independent means who lives on an old houseboat he won in a poker game. One evening a young woman shows up with a suitcase full of cash. McGee agrees to be bagman.
She tells him what to do if she doesn't return. When she doesn't, McGee is left alone to deal with an intrigue that involves drugs, fear, passion, and death.
AMAZON.COM BOOK DESCRIPTION
Very good mystery featuring Travis McGee.