( Download ) ☧ The Dreadful Lemon Sky ♞ MOBI eBook or Kindle ePUB free

Spring is finally here and it s time to work on my tan John D MacDonald published twenty one Travis McGee mysteries between 1964 and 1984 narrated by his weary salvage consultant who often agrees to locate missing persons or items, 52 foot houseboat The Busted Flush docked in Fort Lauderdale serving as McGee s office MacDonald was one of the earliest authors to use themed titles for their series and his brilliant use of color not only offered a visual motif to help readers distinguish each one, but generated some of my favorite titles Nightmare In Pink, The Quick Red Fox, Darker Than Amber, etc.Next up is The Dreadful Lemon Sky Published in 1974, this is a terrific detective thriller that loiters between some familiar markers, but allows the MacDonald to share his guardedly pessimistic world view and magazine knowledge of all things from sailing to ballistics to cocktail dip Travis McGee is asleep aboard his houseboat when his alarm bell alerts him to a visitor She is Carrie Milligan, nee Dobrovsky, who McGee knew six years ago when she worked for Peerless Marine and was a party fixture who McGee rescued from a frat boat rapist and spent one night with Carrie opens a box packed with 94,200 cash for McGee to hold, 10,000 for his troubles, and no questions asked.McGee hides the stash in the flooded double hull and while Carrie takes a much needed bath and sleeps off whatever she s running from, her host inspects the contents of her purse and car He discovers little than that Carrie now works for Superior Building Supplies in Bayside, has some industrial abrasive in her trunk and in spite of her paranoia that he keeps the lights on The Busted Flush turned off, no one suspicious lurking around the Bahia Mar Marina at four in the morning Seeking someone to corroborate his version of events in case the law moves in, McGee seeks out his friend Meyer, an acerbic retired economist, on the beach to discuss Meyer was curious about the money, so I described the stacks to him, each neatly tied with a white cotton string, each of mixed denominations, each totaling ten thousand And, of course there were the loose bills, probably from a broken stack, which could mean that she had spent fifty eight hundred Each stack had an adding machine tape stuffed under the string Yes, all apparently from the same machine, but I hadn t examined them closely It was used money, but reasonably clean and tidy Under black light, it might fluoresce Or somebody might have a list of serial numbers Or it could all be funny money, printed in a small room by night.Eager to be on her way, Carrie asks McGee give her money to her sister should anything happen to her Two weeks later, Meyer shares a newspaper clipping that reports Carolyn Milligan was struck dead while walking on a road in Bayside Needing to do nothing than deliver the stash to Susie Dobrovsky, McGee seeks to assure himself that the money comes with no strings attached Sailing The Busted Flush up the coast to Bayside with Meyer along for the trip, McGee reserves a slip at a marina that earns his approval, operated by an able young man with a Jesus face named Jason Breen and managed by a stoic, tall and tan woman with a wedding ring named Cindy Birdsong.Cindy s sideways husband Cal bursts into the office, pops his wife in the lip and comes at McGee Two cops subdue the drunk and take him to jail for the trail of destruction he s left behind in town over the last several hours McGee rents an AMC Gremlin with busted A C and visits Superior Building Supplies, where a saucy, ginger haired file clerk named Joanna Freeler and office manager Harry Hascomb are busy conducting inventory for a going out of business sale, owner Jack Omaha having secretly sold off the warehouse stock at less than cost and disappeared McGee visits Omaha s home and finds the missing man s wife getting friendly with a tall, slender lawyer named Freddy Van Harn McGee s investigation leads him to an exclusive apartment building where Carrie lived He discovers she was mixed up in a marijuana smuggling operation with her boss Jack Omaha, whose boat made pickups in the Gulf with the help of Cal Birdsong, with packages air dropped by Freddy Van Harn, piloting his own Cessna Van Harn would appear to have no need for such risks, marrying up into a ranching family and whose future father in law has promised to get Van Harn elected to state legislature The only problem is that all of Van Harn s drug running partners have mysteriously disappeared or been killed lately McGee keeps digging, putting his own health at risk Suddenly, I thought of one slim chance If I couldn t make it work, I was going to be no worse off I was going to be dead And if I didn t try it, I was going to be dead A mockingbird flew over, singing on the wing, a melody so beautifully sweet it pinched my heart I do not want to leave the world of mockingbirds, boats, beaches, ladies, love, and peanut butter from Deaf Smith County Especially do I not want to leave it at the hands of a fool, at the hands of this Van Harn who thought he could wipe out an event by killing anybody who knew anything about it It has been tried It never works Any lawyer should know that.With The Dreadful Lemon Sky, John D MacDonald does click multiple boxes for the business traveler or beachcomber looking for escapist detective fare Here we have the young girl mixed up in a caper, a box o cash, a houseboat, lowlifes, an attorney criminal, women with tans, long legs and brains, and a dogged beach bum with nothing but time and an inquisitive mind What I enjoy so much about the Travis McGee series when MacDonald brings the quality control are the keys to modern living wrapped in the often bemused, sometimes bummed philosophies of a Korean War veteran in the 1970s, surrounded by credit cards, pills, free love and easy living that seems anything but easy Instead of barreling the reader down a plot, MacDonald stops to think At drinking time I left Meyer at the wheel and went below and broke out the very last bottle of the Plymouth gin which had been bottled in the United Kingdom All the others were bottled in the U.S It isn t the same It s still a pretty good gin but it is not a superb, stingingly dry, and lovely gin The sailor on the label no longer looks staunch and forthright, but merely hokey There is something self destructive about Western technology and distribution Whenever any consumer object is so excellent that it attracts a devoted following, some of the slide rule and computer types come in on their twinkle toes and take over the store , and in a trice they figure out just how far they can cut quality and still increase market penetration Their reasoning is that is it idiotic to make and sell a hundred thousand units of something and make a profit of thirty cents a unit, when you can increase the advertising, sell five million units, and make a nickel a profit a unit Thus the very good things of the world go down the drain, from honest turkey to honest eggs to honest tomatoes And gin. The sixteenth novel in the Travis McGee series benefits from a well written sociopath in Freddy Van Harn who has the sorts of civic connections and respectability that the beach bum veered away from long ago He often succeeds at charming McGee rather than acting evil Cindy Birdsong is an unlikely choice as romantic interest, but I liked how she was as worn out as McGee, though in a much less affected way The perils McGee gets himself into are harrowing and suggest that amateur criminals are dangerous than professional ones due to poor judgment they attempt to compensate for with worse judgment And then there s Florida, where there always seems to be a construction site or swamp to hide a body. The Travis McGee novels are most successful on a pure entertainment level when there is a mystery to solve or a chain of events to uncover Here there are both McGee is awoken in the middle of the night by Carrie Milligan, an acquaintance of six years back, arriving with a shoe box under her arm stuffed with a little over 100,000 Assured that the money is rightfully hers and not stolen, McGee is asked to keep it safe for a month Two weeks later Carrie dies as a victim of an unwitnessed hit and run A couple of questions need answers who killed her if she was murdered and where did the money come from It leads McGee and his best friend Meyer to the City and County of Bayside But first Sexism Warning Created in the Swingin Sixties this series was peppered with the chauvinism of the era, which the McGee novels never completely lost as it continued through the next decade and a half Part of what made total eradication impossible, even in the face of changing times and sensibilities, was the first person narrative of a womanizer and self professed beach bum These tendencies did soften as McGee aged but even as a middle teen as I was when I first read these books I realized a lot of the character s histrionics over his carnal motives were simply a mask for wanting and liking sex Such was MacDonald s skill that you could assign and argue real world motives to fictional creations, but in the end the degree to which each reader as individuals can ignore such outdated attitudes will determine whether these books will frustrate and anger or deliver superior entertainment There is nothing outdated about MacDonald s storytelling The Dreadful Lemon Sky was McGee s 16th outing and by 1974 women no longer swooned because they were in his presence They still became involved with him because he is the hero it is a staple of the genre, after all but now there were conflicting motives and underlying vulnerabilities there were reasons beyond the expectations of the form But Lemon has one scene that is unforgivable in any era McGee stands by as a blithering housewife is slapped to the floor His response I tried to look smaller and slower than I am an attempt to bait the villain into striking first There were structural reasons to establish animosity between these two characters while withholding a physical confrontation, but clearly it doesn t work.The rest of the novel works to perfection An intriguing setup allows McGee and Meyer to dive right into the characters and their lives and relationships Though Carrie was a little older than her friends, most of them are the remnants of the hippie generation His houseboat, which McGee brought with him to the seaside town, gives him an initial in with them An incidental encounter upon his arrival helps with other residents For the rest he uses what little he d learned from Carrie Not an uninteresting thing follows The Dreadful Lemon Sky delivers on mystery, character, drama, action and romance.The only real negative is so small that it can t diminish a Goodreads five star rating There s a fight to the death that may go on for too long There are story reasons for this, too, but it may wear on some Not for long, though There are still revelations to come and a final altercation, which is where the novel takes its name.It s not to be missed. Really I know it s the old Sea Cock Travis McGee we re talking about here, but this is a whole new low.Hang on We all know that I m going to do another rant about the sexism, but let s change things up and talk about the good parts first.Carrie Milligan is an old friend of McGee s who shows up very late one night at his houseboat and asks if he ll hold a large sum of money for her If she doesn t come back and get it by a certain date, Travis should hand the cash over to her sister, and he gets ten grand for his trouble McGee agrees and stashes the cash, and Carrie departs Before her deadline McGee gets the news that she was killed after being hit by a car in another Florida town Suspecting that something is going on and feeling that he owes her something for the ten thousand, Travis and his best friend Meyer take his houseboat to Bayside and start poking around However, they ve walked into the middle of a scheme with an increasing body count.This is one of the best plots in a McGee novel yet Puzzling out where Carrie got the money and if her death was the result of foul play involves McGee running a variety of small cons on people to get them talking, and it allows the book to indulge in one of the best aspects of the series, conversations between McGee and Meyer There s a vivid discourse by Meyer at one point about learning the true nature of death and guns that has stuck with me in the 20 some years since I first read it There s also a couple of very good action scenes.Plus, after being something of a know it all bore in his observations in the last couple of books, Travis is back to fine form in his cynical musings about American life and society Here s a bit where he s describing the townIt was easy to see the shape and history of Bayside, Florida There had been a little town on the bay shore, a few hundred people, a sleepy downtown with live oaks and Spanish moss Then International Amalgamated Development had moved in, bought a couple of thousand acres, and put in shopping centers, town houses, condominiums, and rental apartments, just south of town Next had arrived Consolidated Construction Enterprises and done the same thing north of town Smaller operators had done the same things on a smaller scale west of town When downtown decayed, the town fathers widened the streets and cut down the shade trees in an attempt to look just like a shopping center It didn t work It never does This was instant Florida, tacky and stifling and full of ugly and spurious energies They had every chain food service outfit known to man, interspersed with used car lots and furniture stores This is what a Travis McGee book reads like when it s firing on all cylinders So this should be an easy example of a fast n fun crime novel in a series that would be an easy 4 stars.But..As usual, we got to talk about McGee and the ladies For example, Carrie trusts Travis because he once saved her from being raped at a party, and that s certainly understandable But of course the ole Sea Cock nails her right after that OK, it s not quite that bad, and Travis does note that it s highly unusual that a woman would be aroused right after being attacked Besides, he s Travis McGee What lady could resist his charms even in those circumstances There are also two separate incidents of women being hit in front of Travis in this book, and he doesn t seem that upset about it In the first one after witnessing a drunk man deck his wife, Travis does fight the guy, but he makes it clear that he s really just trying to get away from him After the cops show up he follows her lead in not asking that charges be filed because that s always the best play in domestic abuse Then a sleazy lawyer pimp slaps an annoying woman and knocks her to the floor right in front of Travis, and while McGee doesn t like it, he doesn t bang the guy s head off a wall or call the cops either Yeah, yeah I know Simpler times When a female just had to expect to take a really solid shot to the mouth every once in a while.There s a nice patronizing piece of Letting The Man Take Charge Here Little Lady when Travis steps in at the funeral home when Cindy s sister is getting screwed over on the bill That could have been played as him looking out for her because she s just so overcome with grief, but Travis and the funeral director have to go in the other room without her because obviously it s man talk Travis does include her finally to prove she isn t some simpering little fool who will pay anything because she s falling apart Then she immediately falls apart after the funeral director leaves There, there, little girl Don t worry Daddy Travis is here to take care of everything.Speaking of Cindy s sister Susan, although McGee is protective enough to haggle over a bill for her, he neglects to inform her that he s learned that a male character she s interacting with is a ruthless pursuer of sexual conquests and his behavior has been reported as borderline rapey Way to look out for the sister of your dead friend, McGee view spoiler And of course after Susan gives in to this guy McGee is right there to take charge again, but that doesn t include calling the cops or getting her any kind of help hide spoiler Guilt is the most merciless disease of man It stains all the other areas of living It darkens all skiesJohn D MacDonald, The Dreadful Lemon SkyThis is JDM s 16th Travis MCGee novel It is right in the middle of MacDonald s McGee years 1964 1984 , published in 1974 It is weird to think this book is as old as I am I both feel old and young It has some of the best McGee traits plot, maxims, villans, etc and worst sexism in all its varieties and shades I keep on going back to it being a product of its time, but ye gads, I really hope the 70s weren t that bad As I say that I keep thinking of James Bond movies, rock groupies, and Charlies Angels It isn t that great now really I guess the part that bothers me the most about it is how flagerent and contrived it was I positive MacDonald used it as marketing much like with 007 BECAUSE it worked Ugh Anyway, if it wasn t for the lazy sexism, it might have been 5 stars Still, it is one of my favorite McGee novels, even with the women in peril and Travis the healing sex god.I m also not sure what happened, but MacDonald was popping out a Travis McGee novel at the rate of one or two per year in the decade from 1964 1974, but his next McGee novel after this one took him four years Not that it is important, I just noticed. ( Download ) ☱ The Dreadful Lemon Sky ♴ The Professional S Professional Of Suspense Writers THE NEW YORK TIMESTravis McGee Has Been Offered Easy Money By A Longtime Lady Friend But When She Gets Killed, McGee S Got A Boatload Of Mystery Navigating His Boat Into Troubled Waters, He Heads For The Seamier Side Of Florida Where Drug Dealing, Twisted Sex, And Corruption Are Easy To Find But Murderous Riddles Are Hard To Solve 4.5 starsA fine and complex story in the Travis McGee series, mostly linear and set entirely in the present time of the book 1973As usual with my reviews, please first read the publisher s blurb summary of the book Thank you. Travis continues to feel his age, and again ends in hospital than once His powers of recovery are truly astounding, lucky for us The body count is pretty high here, but without much gore As usual, there are strong and confident women in the book, an aspect of John D MacDonald that I really love.Travis and Meyer are in Bayside, Florida to investigate the death of an old friend.Most of the story takes place in Bayside, Florida Full size image here Notes and quotes No pictures particularly relevant in this book.There s not usually outright comedy in the McGee books, but this made me laugh out loud Meyer doctored the brew with some chopped hot pickled peppers and some pepper seeds He does not approve of chili unless the tears are running down his cheeks while he eats His specialty, Meyer s Superior Cocktail Dip, is made with dry Chinese mustard moistened to the proper consistency with Tabasco sauce The unsuspecting have been known to leap four feet straight up into the air after scooping up a tiny portion on a potato chip Strong men have come down running and gone right through the wall when they missed the open doorway. It is strange to sleep for five days and live nights and have the world go rolling along without you Just like it will keep on after you re dead. MacDonald comments on modern life 1960s and 70s quite often And he s often right The usual eruption of sick, sad, violent events continued throughout the nation and the world, like an unending, eternal string of those little Chinese firecrackers called ladyfingers. The Lemon Sky of the title is mentioned directly after this It was in the hard and vivid light of the hour before noon It was a day of almost stagnant air The wind had been moving steadily from north to south, bringing to Florida s east coast all the stained and corrosive crud of Birmingham and the rest of the industrial South The horizons were whiskey stained, and the sky above was a pallid saffron instead of blue The bleared sun made harsh studio lighting on the parking lot scene. A good final line And it was okay because it had to be There wasn t any other choice Sometimes it is a relief not to have a choice I will have to get Meyer to explain this concept to me.Bonus From the 1970 Darker Than Amber movie starring Rod Taylor, pictures of the producers ideas of McGee s The Busted Flush Full size image hereFull size image hereFull size image hereAnd finally, two great blogs about John D MacDonald, McGee and the rumoured never written novel where McGee dies The Birth of Travis McGee fascinating Black Border for McGee rumours surrounding a final book, never published This was my first reading of John MacDonald s work and please don t ask me why because I don t know This book was published in 1974 and reads as a still current novel I love the Travis McGee character I now will need to start with this series from the beginning Would highly recommend this book, series and author to others that enjoy Florida P.I fiction. The Dreadful Really Dreadful Lemon SkyEach of the books in the Travis McGee series relate to a color and an alliterative phrase Some of the titles are just so great It s as if the title is an entire poem The Dreadful Lemon Sky is such a title It stirs the imagination The Travis McGee tales are a real different kind of mystery series For one thing, McGee isn t a detective He s a curious soul that likes to meddle into things, particularly when people he knows are knocked off For another thing, he seldom has a client or a rational reason for sticking his nose in And, he s not quite a square working class joe In fact, he s taking his retirement a little at a time when he s still young enough to enjoy it The impetus here is a late night visitor who leaves a parcel with him no, not the Maltese Falcon and disappears, only to be reported deceased two weeks later McGee senses something off and goes to the lady s hometown with Meyer in tow to figure it out Perfectly paced, McDonald uses McGee s adventures to show us what s lurking neath the surface of our small towns. In Junior High, in grade eight English, we did a large and in my nostalgic memory exceedingly interesting and engaging segment on American and British mystery fiction, reading both classical and not so classical instalments from the late 19th century to what was at that time considered contemporary American detective fiction from such diverse authors as Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Rex Stout, John D MacDonald and of course many many From the many authors we had to read and the required reading list featured at least thirty authors , we managed to obtain a than solid introduction to the mystery and detective fiction genre and while there was a huge amount of reading required, it was both an enjoyable and enlightening experience, with for me especially Rex Stout and John D MacDonald rapidly becoming personal favourites And with the latter, with John D MacDonald, it was actually NOT so much the main protagonist Travis McGee who tickled my reading fancy, it was and still is his academic and at times rather cynical and knowledgeable sidekick Meyer whose first name always remains a mystery with whom I totally fell in love, who absolutely and intensely entered my heart and my soul and to such an extent that any Travis McGee book which did and does not feature as much Meyer as McGee, I simply did and do not enjoy all that much Now with this here novel, with The Dreadful Lemon Sky, with this sixteenth instalment of Travis MgGee, his adventures and yes, also often his mishaps, I do consider it rather special because it was the first book by the author I read, namely the one novel of the series that our teacher had included in the reading list and made us read in grade eight, and it therefore holds a special place in my heart for introducing me to Travis McGee, to Meyer, to Meyer s genius and sweetness of character, but I do not really consider it an absolute and always enduring personal favourite For while in retrospect, there is an adequate amount of Meyer and Meyer s genius and oh so special friendship and companionship with and to McGee presented and included in The Dreadful Lemon Sky, there is nevertheless still a trifle too much McGee and too little Meyer for me on a personal and reading enjoyment level The Dreadful Lemon Sky is indeed a very good and readable novel and perhaps for adamant Travis McGee fans, even a great novel , but for me, it remains just adequate, as many of the series novels that contain Meyer, and some that actually feature stories specifically about him, dealing with his issues and not so much issues and problems, mysteries that pertain to, that feature Travis McGee, well, as a total Meyer fan, as someone who is still after than twenty odd years totally engaged in a literary crush on the latter, The Dreadful Lemon Sky is simply not enough Meyer heavy to warrant but a high three star ranking three and a half, but not quite four stars And yes, check out the gloriously tacky and bright late 70s early 80s book cover I could not finish this book But, I ll try John D MacDonald again or better, Ross MacDonald no relation as far as I know.