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The Quick Red Fox (1995)

The Quick Red Fox (1995)

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3.88 of 5 Votes: 4
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0449224406 (ISBN13: 9780449224403)

About book The Quick Red Fox (1995)

26 may 15...#40 from macdonald for me, the 7th travis mcgee story. just finished Bright Orange For The Shroud. onward & upward28 may 15finished. good story...not great, good. why? maybe because there are a number of deaths, some related to the larger scheme of wrong, some not related, and in the end the antagonist makes a short sweet appearance, people get slapped with a rock rabbit, and the other dames in the story seem to follow suit. cue fleetwood mac. go your own way...lalalalala. some good writing here, good characterization...and in this one, by story end, i wondered how long macdonald spent trying to find a manner in which to wind this one up? oh. yeah. the fabled rock rabbit trick. a reader, was that all part of a plan? simple survival....doo dooo doooo! tricksy. onward upward. story beginsa big noisy wind out of the northeast, full of a february chill, herded the tourists off the afternoon beach, driving them to cover, complaining bitterly. it picked up gray slabs of the atlantic and smacked them down on the public beach across the highway from bahia mar.and then some.time place scene setting* story opens in february, travis aboard the busted flush with skeeter, a saturday afternoon, slip f-18, bahia mar fort lauderdale florida* a glittering black chrysler limousine* to a house on a private island, miami/miami beach area* a room in that house* (past) california, a year ago in july, 18 months ago, a house near point sur, california* after party, lysa returned to brentwood* gabe marchman's place in lauderdale. travis visits with photos for an opinion* narana kai drive-in, topanga beach, figures in the blackmail money delivery scheme* sultana, miami beach...lysa dean moves to the sultana* hope island, bastion key, this is a clinic for alcoholics* miss agnes...travis' 30s model rolls royce converted to a truck by another, painted blue* fish house in town for lunch* albany, new york* utica, new york...the diplomat, restaurant/bar* big supermarket store, chas johns* small relatively new motel at speculator, new york* up route 8 through poland, new york* mohawk lodge, 7-8 miles out on indian lake road* up route 8 (in new york), thr polanc...adirondack forest speculator, new york* sausalito, california* santa rosita, california* time passes as in "first tuesday in march"* a chain motel ...santa rosita i think* syracuse airport...flight from there to chicago through to san francisco* san francisco, california* university hospital san francisco, room 310, where alexander armitage abott, aia, is slowly dying * the log cabin restaurant...while still in new york* lysa dean's home in california* las vegas, nevada* four treys...las vegas* desert gate trailer park* phoenix, arizona* verano street, december 10th (past) demise of ives * a cop station* a drive-in 10 blocks away from cop station, santa rosalito, sergeant bill starr and travis go here to talk* the apache, a gameless place in las vegas out on the perimeter* salt river valley (phoenix)...the hallmark/hotel* a variety of places mentioned not visited, flagstaff, tucson, oklahoma city* las vegas airport* nearest rancid saloon...that travis steps into after talking with gannon, one of the investigative services* 2829 appleton way...was it saulsalito? the ives' residence where only the daughter is now living...ives bought it, mugged left for dead* barnweather place...where m'gruder and his new young bride are spending time* hospitalcharacters major* travis mcgee, our hero, 1st-person narrator, shopworn beach bum, marina gypsy, a big shambling sharpshooter, favors plymouth gin* skeeter, about 30 yrs of age, mary keith by name, skeet or skeeter nickname, spending time on the busted flush while her place is painted. she makes a living doing illustrations for children's books under the pseudonym "annamara"* dana holtzer, a tall girl in a severe dark suit, a kind of agent for the actress lysa dean* lysa "lee" dean, about 33 years of age, actress, has a problem she wants travis to resolve. she is the lee schontz from dayton, ohio, 1610 madison street, a fireman's daughter. she has had four marriages, is starring in winds of chance* carl abelle...and lysa a year ago last july stayed together, just the two of them, in the house on point sur. they spent three weeks there, the first two very private, the last became a house party of swingers, photos were taken long-range, used to blackmail lysa. he is a ski instructor, mohawk lodge, speculator, new york* nancy abbott, 22, also at the house party point sur, 22 at the time of the party, now 24...later, we find her in a alcholic clinic in florida and travis knows the guy running the place. her father is adored, talented, mighty, her mother died in a hotel fire when nancy was seven. nancy has been used by a variety of types, both men and women, for their sexual deviancy * vance & patty m'gruder, mid-20s, at party...they divorced some time after, he remarried, she is a mystery* patty m'gruder is the previous patricia gedley-davies, and they were married three years ago...then the marriage was annulled. she is slain in las vegas where she'd been working as a change girl* cass, male, about 30, at party, full names, caswell edgars, a san francisco artist* sonny catton, violence, at party, brought whippy to party...later, we learn he died...sounds like at the racetack, or drag races one or the other* whippy, the last holdout at the party, lesbian, full name, martha whippler* two college boys from back east, cornell, harvey & ritchie* a competent girl* dana was married...still is, after a fashion, husband invalid, tubes, bed, the works...he was/is epileptic, had a fit out in public, an off-duty policeman thought he was a thread, shot him* ulka atlund, new wife of vance m'gruder, just turned 18, father brought her over here, he lectures in san franciscocharacters minor, named, not named* meyer, travis's economist friend/neighbor at bahia mar marina* a texas chick (from travis' past)* lysa dean is staying at the house of a friend* walter lowery in san francisco, referred lysa dean to travis. he is in san francisco and is presumably some sort of writer* the field mouse, quimby...skeeter's illustrations of* her personal maid, her hairdresser, & the man from the agency...people other than dana holtzer who travel with lysa dean* the poker man...from whom travis won the busted flush...his brazilian mistress...the poker man tried to use as collateral in the game they were playing* the poker man's friends, who led him away from the game* a middle-aged man in dove-gray uniform with silver buttons, chauffeur in the black chrysler limousine...later we learn his name is martin* a gardener...who opened the gate to the limo* fedder, a stunt man from travis' past* chipmann...friends of carl abelle who owned the house where lysa and he stayed* an operator (telephone)* mary catherine...dana calls her from travis' boat...on lysa dean's staff...maybe the maid* gabe marchman, korea war photographer, lost use of legs, travis visits to get an opinion on photographs* a very dear friend (of lysa dean's) man* an old buddy in vegas (of lysa's)* doris marchman, wife of gabe, chinese-hawaiian* they have six kids and doris is pregnant with another* taxi* alabama tiger, friend, neighbor of travis' at bahia mar, lauderdale* alexander armitage abbott, in san francisco, father of nancy* one of bill's old friends, bill, invalid husband of dana...she uses him to get information* stan burley, runs the hope island clinic on bastion key where nancy abbott has been for some time now. he is a friend/associate of travis.* marianne, a woman travis brought three times to the clinic...she committed suicide by vehicle* jenny, secretary type to stan burley at the clinic* a retired policewoman delivered child...of someone...was it nancy?* jackie, name used by nancy at clinic when travis visits...she wonder if he is there to visit jackie* nancy abbott has an older brother who is righteous* "frank" and "myra"...a bit of the time passages, travis and dana pretending to be characters* nearby lunch customers* waitress* "mom and sis"...more time passages* ski kids were roaming the area* gentleman in command...of the small motel, speculator, new york* "fred & helen hollisbankers"...imaginary...travis & dana having fun...a kind of time passages* nearby lunch customers* the diplomat* a great number of young people sprawled on the floor* snow the ski lodge* stewardesses, a porter* alex abbot, brother of nancy, friend of caswell "cassie" edgars* elaine, wife of alex* someone phoned alexander abbott about photos, he gave them what for* a skinny driftwood blonde, with caswell edgars in saulsalito* poor little henry, a husband, either current or past, of the blonde* an elder brother of m'gruder was killed in a war* "jones" an alias used by travis while calling investigative services* an "italian wife and two men"...travis story when he calls* odd-looking people came and went, tenants, clients, customers* miss ganz, switchboard girl, a service provided to one of the investigative services, gannon, travis trolls looking for information* "sergeant zimmerman bunco squad" another alias travis uses when speaking with miss ganz on the phone* "bunco halpern"...travis again, speaking to miss ganz who is calling back to confirm* mr. t. madison devlaney iii, dana speaks with looking for information about vance m'gruder whom she has known all her life...everyone calls her "squeakie"* mrs devlaney, hubby, and another couple are going to hawaii* nude woman on the sun terrace...presumably mrs chipman, from whom dana and carl abelle rented/used the house while the chipmans were gone on vacation* gallagher, rosen and firm...travis calls seeking info* charlie mendez, one of the lawyers there* a clear-voiced mendez's secretary...miss trofler* jocelyn ives* mr d.c. obtained from gannon...but ives is dead. lived in santa rosita, had his home for studio, a space in a warehouse for the blackmail material* sergeant bill starr...travis speaks with to obtain info about ives* pretty waitress, at the drive-in, sausalito* samuel bogen, 46, a semi-retarded employee of ives* one korean couple (lysa dean's staff) a maid and gardener* mexican architects who designed lysa dean's house* batch of pilgrims (las vegas)...a pair of appraisers (presumably employed by casinos at airport to catch undesirables coming into vegas)* a porter at...the apache i think* spooks, tourists, cops, change girls: las vegas* bobby blessing, butch lesbian living with "whippy" martha whippler in las vegas* society editor, phoenix paper* glenn & joanne barnweather, m'gruders staying with in phoenix, ranch out beyond scarsdale* tulio, in okc; mary west, in tucson; paul & betty dover, in flagstaff, a convoluted manner of name game travis uses to get invited to the barnweather ranch for a party that takes shape* a gleaming, beaming little fellow in a red coat tended bar* about 35 people in all* reporters* the mexican boyfriends* herm louke...hollywood man...takes care of business* manny in rome? louke wonders if travis was* a man...a thin man...a girl in a girl in* scotty, victor scott...handles money for lysa dean* a quintet of little girls dashing in and out of the silvery spray of a sprinkler* polite copscharacters real, famous, imaginary famous, so forth so on* norm thompson (flannel shirt)* scott (tuner)* fisher (amplifier)* bernstein* shostakovich (fifth)* raggedy ann* liz taylor, kim novak, doris day* garbo* arbuckle (effect)* liz and frankie, the swede, mitchum, ava* whore of babylon* god, christ* abraham lincoln (gabe marchman is likened too)* comoy (pipe...presumably a manufacturer of pipes)* arthur murray* j edgar hoover* katie gibb's --type service* syd solomon, painter, real or imaginary? i've seen the name in other mcgee stories...paintings travis has, displays* venus de milo* jane/tarzan* schweitzer of the gin bottle * gallahad of the slopes (carl)* jack london's noseless one* heloise & abelard* nappi & joe* romeo and miss capulet* beattles* herb caen, name associated with san francisco* sonny liston, a butch lesbian has shoulders like* in yes virginia, there is a santa rosita* uris, wouk, rand...portentous gruntings* alice (in wonderland)* freud-fraud* that a place or a person* joe demaggio* hemingway* jesus christ * harry diadem...?* king arthur* joan of arc* viking

Synopsis/blurb.....From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Quick Red Fox is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.She’s the opposite of a damsel in distress: a famous movie star, very beautiful, very much in control of her life. She’s just made one little mistake and now she needs Travis McGee to set it right. The money is good and Travis’s funds are in need of replenishing. But that’s not the only reason he takes the case. There is the movie star’s assistant—efficient and reserved, with a sadness underneath that makes McGee feel he’d brave any danger to help her.“John D. MacDonald is a shining example for all us in the field. Talk about the best.”—Mary Higgins ClarkSultry movie star Lysa Dean has gotten herself into a spot of blackmail, posing for naked photos while participating in a debauched party near Big Sur. If the pictures get out, Lysa’s engagement to her rich, strait laced fiancé doesn’t stand a chance. Enter Travis McGee, who’s agreed to put a stop to the extortion, working alongside Lysa’s assistant, Dana Holtzer.They begin by tracking down everyone associated with the lurid evening, and soon enough they’re led on a chase across the nation as murder after murder piles up. Further complicating matters, Travis and Dana’s relationship soon turns steamy. And just when he thinks he knows exactly where things are headed, one big twist shakes McGee’s life to the very foundation.Well, I’m continuing my McGee journey month by month. This was the fourth instalment in the twenty-one book series which MacDonald wrote and had published between 1964 and 1985. Incidentally, the first four were all published in 1964. I don’t believe that would happen today.McGee is engaged by Lysa Dean, Hollywood hot property to get her out of a jam. After indulging in a sexual free-for-all with some guests on a break a year or so ago, she’s being blackmailed with photographic evidence of the shenanigans. McGee’s task is to remove the threat and try and recover some of the money paid. Travis sets out on the recovery mission with the strait-laced Dana Holtzer, Dean’s disapproving assistant in tow. After identifying most other of the other orgy members, Travis and Dana traverse the country, catching up with and eliminating some of the players along the way. As the journey gathers pace, there appears to be someone else, a step or two ahead of them eliminating some of the participants in the sex-games.This book was more enjoyable for me than the second and third in the series, maybe a notch under the standard of the first – The Deep Blue Goodbye.McGee; sage, part-time philosopher, granite chin, iron fists and with a tender, caring disposition is an interesting companion to share a few hours with each month. He strikes me as a deeply moral person. He has his own code to follow - a short-haired hippy, minus the predilection for meaningless sex and drug abuse. Not adverse to violence when it is needed, but never as his first resort. I wonder how he would view the world fifty years on from this adventure. 4 from 5Bought second-hand as an omnibus edition online recently, so books 5 and 6 are already lined up.

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My "go-to" place for everything Travis McGee is D.R. Martin's blog Me and Travis McGee. When I discovered D.R.'s site, I had read the entire 21 book series twice so I wasn't (and didn't) worry about spoilers. But going through some of D.R.'s entries (a synopsis of each book) and related comments, I noticed that readers had a 'takeaway' from the books that I had never thought of and in all sincerity, rather shocked and frankly annoyed me. There were some comments about Travis being a misogynist and had no respect for women. In fact, some even said he treated them (my words) as throw-a-ways, simply using them for his own gratification and pleasure...using them as play-toys. Who and what are THEY, THOSE people talking about? With that said, I decided that I would take note of just how Travis felt about women and boy did I hit on a gold mine in The Quick Red Fox for insight, in Travis' own words, his feelings about women.Taking a look, here are some direct quotes:Travis says to actress Miss Dean “Affection, understanding, need and respect. You can be sarcastic about that too, if you want. Bed is the simplest thing two people can do. If it goes with a lot of other things, it can be important, and if it goes with nothing else, it isn’t worth the time it takes.”Leaving Travis said, “Love you, I said. It doesn’t cost a thing. Not when you do.” Travis sounds in love.Travis and D... talking: “Don’t do that to yourself, D... You are implausibility…astoundingly, unforgettably great. And I don’t mean just in a…”D...replies: I know. It isn't me, and it isn't you. Let’s not talk about it. It’s the total of us, the crazy total. I’m not going to talk about it or think of what comes after. Okay? Okay, darling?’ No talk. No analysis.”And later: “We are kind of beautiful,” she said. It’s enough to know that, I guess. Alone I’m just …sort of efficient and severe and a little heavy-handed. Defensive. Alone you’re just sort of a rough, wry opportunist, a little bit cold and shrewd and watchful. Cruel, maybe. You and your sybarite boat and your damned beach girls. But we add up to beautiful in some crazy way. For now.”“For now, D…?” replies Travis (Trav in love?) Obviously a woman's body is just that, hers to love and admire without categorization into the "perfectly sized" woman. (Whatever THAT is!) Travis says: ”In the bathroom, in fading light of day, her body bore the halter marks of the long sunny ride, her broad flat breasts pale, responsive to soapy ablutions cooperatively offered.”Travis thinks “…and I wondered if, when his (referring to a book character) physical resources began to flag he would stimulate himself by corrupting her. A woman to him would be something owned, to use as he wished.”Just to be fair, I did find one comment which surprised me and seemed to me, to objectify women; Travis said “The Swedes grow some of the finest specimens of our times.” But Travis can be forgiven by me, out of 160 pages written in 1964, he was still far beyond some men I know today and this is almost 50 years later. Also, I noted a few comments and words of introspection by Travis which I particularly enjoyed and I've included them:“I was not a very earnest nor constructive fellow.”"And I have locked myself into this precarious role of the clown-knight in the tomato-can armor, flailing away at indifferent beats with my tinfoil sword. A foible of the knight, even the comic one, is the cherishing of women, and perhaps even my brand of cherishing is quaint in this time and place.”"I get this crazy feeling. Every once in a while I get it. I get the feeling that this is the last time in history when the offbeats like me will have a chance to live free in the nooks and crannies of the huge and rigid structure of an increasingly codified society. Fifty years from now I would be hunted down in the street. They would drill little holes in my skull and make me sensible and reliable and adjusted. “Violence is the stepchild of desperation.” I've said my peace and offered support of my position that Travis McGee is not a misogynist. He treats women with respect and equality which was, in my mind, was unheard of in the '60's. If you disagree, watch Mad Men on TV, or offer your own support of your position. Enough said. Oh, the book. The book was great, a bit slim on the storyline, but who cares? It's Travis McGee, so says me and Travis is and always will be my guy!
—Cathy DuPont

Another enjoyable Travis McGee read. A Scarlett Johansson type actress needs a bit of help after group sex session goes wrong. She wants to sweeten the deal by taking McGee to the bedroom. Trav turns her down because he needs more than the physical, he needs an emotional connection. Haha, only in a book. Using myself and Scarlett as an example, here's how that scene would go down in the real world with any single guy bordering on any guy:Scarlett: "Pete darling, please come to my room and help me out of my swimsuit. It's super tight and wet."Me: "Ok."Yep.

Some 40 years ago I avidly read most of the Travis McGee books and now I wanted to see how much of what I remembered was accurate. Back then I thought John D. MacDonald knew pretty much everything there was to know about how American society works, and I shared his hero's easy cynicism about money and corruption. Now his periodic rants struck me as naive and dated. I thought he knew far more than I did about women (his hero bedded a different beauty in every book; how could he not?) now I think his theory that worthwhile women can hardly resist an "authentic male" is naively swaggering, bordering on stupid. McGee isn't quite that simple, but almost. The physical descriptions are as good as I remembered. Action is well described. There isn't a lot of padding. But the plot structure of this one left a lot to be desired.

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