"Travis McGee's still in Cedar
That's what old John
-Jimmy Buffett (Incommunicado from Coconut
Travis McGee lives aboard the Busted Flush, his 52 foot custom houseboat,
Slip F-18, Bahia Mar, Lauderdale. He is "purely McGee, that pale-eyed,
wire-haired girl-finder, that big shambling brown boat-bum who walks
slays small fierce fish, busts minor icons, argues, smiles and disbelieves,
knuckly scar-tissued reject from structured society, who waits until
low, and then goes out and takes it from the taker, keeps half, and
rest back to the innocent."
When McGee's old war buddy Mike Gibson asks him to go help his little
Nina, he heads to Manhattan. Nina's fiance, Howard Plummer, was killed
what appears to have been a simple mugging, but then Nina found ten
dollars hidden in her apartment. Since Howard worked for Charles McKewn
Armister IV, helping to manage his $60 million, Nina fears he may have
McGee starts looking around & becomes suspicious when he finds out
had a nervous breakdown recently & has undergone drastic personality
since then. Soon he uncovers a scam by Armister's attorney, Baynard
and his personal secretary, Bonita Hersch, who have been siphoning
from Armister's accounts. But just as he's getting close to breaking
McGee is slipped a mickey & wakes up in Toll Valley Hospital, the
institution where Armister was taken. There the malevolent Dr. Varn
him to a slew of psychoactive drugs & McGee is soon fighting to
sanity & save his own life.
At some point, probably right after college, I read all 21 Travis McGee
Like Mickey Spillane (Mike Hammer), Brett Halliday (Mike Shayne), Rex
(Nero Wolfe), etc., John D. MacDonald created a unique hero, set him
the hard-boiled genre & cranked out million selling adventures.
McGee books never rise above the genre, a la Chandler or Ross MacDonald,
they are an enjoyable artifact.