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From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Scarlet Ruse is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.
Travis McGee’s getting lazy. Drinking Boodles on the Busted Flush has become a full-time job. But when he hears that six figures’ worth of rare stamps have wandered off, McGee finds himself back in the salvage business. To deliver on this case, McGee will have to be suspicious of everyone he meets—because what he’s looking for is property of the mob.
“The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author.”—Jonathan Kellerman
Hirsh Fedderman has misplaced an extremely valuable commodity: the stamp collection of mobster Frank Sprenger. Assessed at around four hundred thousand dollars, these are no ordinary stamps, and Sprenger’s no ordinary collector: He’s liable to break some fingers if he doesn’t get what he’s owed.
Lucky for Hirsh, he’s got a friend in Travis McGee. Soon McGee is hot on the trail of the missing collection—not to mention hot for a voluptuous stamp expert by the name of Mary Alice. Only it’s not McGee’s heart that’s in danger. He soon realizes that he’s run afoul of a vicious syndicate, and neither rain, nor sleet, nor gloom of night will keep them from collecting McGee’s head.
Features a new Introduction by Lee Child
About the Author
John D. MacDonald was an American novelist and short-story writer. His works include the Travis McGee series and the novel The Executioners, which was adapted into the film Cape Fear. In 1962 MacDonald was named a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America; in 1980, he won a National Book Award. In print he delighted in smashing the bad guys, deflating the pompous, and exposing the venal. In life, he was a truly empathetic man; his friends, family, and colleagues found him to be loyal, generous, and practical. In business, he was fastidiously ethical. About being a writer, he once expressed with gleeful astonishment, “They pay me to do this! They don’t realize, I would pay them.” He spent the later part of his life in Florida with his wife and son. He died in 1986.
Praise for John D. MacDonald and the Travis McGee novels
“The great entertainer of our age, and a mesmerizing storyteller.”—Stephen King
“My favorite novelist of all time . . . All I ever wanted was to touch readers as powerfully as John D. MacDonald touched me. No price could be placed on the enormous pleasure that his books have given me. He captured the mood and the spirit of his times more accurately, more hauntingly, than any ‘literature’ writer—yet managed always to tell a thunderingly good, intensely suspenseful tale.”—Dean Koontz
“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
“A master storyteller, a masterful suspense writer . . . John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all of us in the field. Talk about the best.”—Mary Higgins Clark
“A dominant influence on writers crafting the continuing series character . . . I envy the generation of readers just discovering Travis McGee, and count myself among the many readers savoring his adventures again.”—Sue Grafton
“One of the great sagas in American fiction.”—Robert B. Parker
“Most readers loved MacDonald’s work because he told a rip-roaring yarn. I loved it because he was the first modern writer to nail Florida dead-center, to capture all its languid sleaze, racy sense of promise, and breath-grabbing beauty.”—Carl Hiaasen
“The consummate pro, a master storyteller and witty observer . . . John D. MacDonald created a staggering quantity of wonderful books, each rich with characterization, suspense, and an almost intoxicating sense of place. 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
“What a joy that these timeless and treasured novels are available again.”—Ed McBain
“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
“There’s only one thing as good as reading a John D. MacDonald novel: reading it again. A writer way ahead of his time, his Travis McGee books are as entertaining, insightful, and suspenseful today as the moment I first read them. He is the all-time master of the American mystery novel.”—John Saul