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A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee, No. 3) Mass Market Paperback – May 27, 1995

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reissue edition (May 27, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449224384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449224380
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.9 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #914,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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 --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Publisher

6 1-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

The Travis McGee series is my favorite.
The book is quite short, like most of the earlier books in the series, and are all good, light reads.
It's well written, the story is interesting, and the characters were strong.
Joseph Boone

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 11, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I've read that John D. MacDonald had 4 or 5 of the first McGee's written before he decided to publish them. As a result, these 1st novels in the series can be seen as experiments in developing a series character. In this, the 3rd or 4th published in the series, we see McGee in a situation as close as he will ever get to a classic mystery novel. Before he can be hired by Mona Fox Yeoman to free her and her money from the clutches of her husband Jass Yeoman, she's shot dead right in front of him by a desert sniper. -And the police won't start searching for a killer until McGee can prove she's dead. Seems her body disappeared while McGee was calling the police and she was always threatening to one away with her lover and weren't they spotted on a commercial flight getting away, and-. Eventually, Trav is looking for the killer for Jass, who may not be the tyrant that Mona described to McGee. McGee tracks down the true story, ending up unarmed against a pair of killers in the desert. Classic McGee with a "Ross Macdonald-ish" twist at the end as the solution becomes mired in the Yeoman past.
AS always MacDonald spins an enthralling tale.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia K. Robertson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 28, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A Purple Place for Dying is the third book in John MacDonald's Travis McGee series, and McGee comes upon his most troubling case yet. McGee is brought to the Midwest by a big, brassy, bossy Blonde who needs help. Mona Yeoman suspects that her husband has pilfered her trust fund, and she wants a divorce. McGee's job is to find out what happened to the money. McGee doesn't particularly like Yeoman, but is tempted to take the case because he needs the money. But before he even has a chance to say yes, Mona is murdered right in front of his eyes, and this changes everything. What makes things even more mysterious is that her body disappears when the police are called to the scene of the crime.

McGee could simply take his return plane ticket and fly home to his native Florida. But for whatever reasons, he decides to stick around and do some snooping. There are many twists and turns and also a few more mysterious murders. As usual, McGee finds himself in danger the closer he comes to the truth. And the truth comes as a complete surprise.

Each MacDonald book gets better than the previous one. We also get to see McGee become more fleshed out as a character. Still, it seems that the early books in this series are more of a novella length, but MacDonald corrects this with later books.

Overall, the McGee series is a true gem, and I'm glad to have discovered these wonderful mysteries.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Calvert on May 26, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
I admire all of John D. MacDonald's work, and certainly the Travis McGee series was his most powerful creation. Few, if any, popular mysteries are of such high quality.

Though this book is entertaining, and well crafted, it is not my favorite McGee. There are perhaps three reasons for this:

1) It follows the pattern of a standard mystery from the fifties or early sixties, and hence seems a bit derivative. I think MacDonald was experimenting with moving McGee away from his native habitat, perhaps to make use of a plot he had invented in other circumstances. I'm not sure the experiment was successful.

2) McGee is far from the water, and I think the sense of warmth and good will found in many of the other books in this series comes from MacDonald's love of the water in general, and Florida in particular. McGee was out of his habitat, and seemed a bit strained and depressed as a result.

3) McGee (and MacDonald) really don't like the female lead in the book very much, and one of the things that holds MacDonald's books together is the main character's and the author's obvious attraction and sympathy for women. Here the lead is prissy, overly intellectual, and distasteful to MacDonald and McGee. As a result, the book feels a bit sour, and lacking the good will and sense of joy found in the best of the other McGees.

Nevertheless, this is a Travis McGee book from the early sixties, a time when MacDonald was at the height of his remarkable powers. As such, it is not to be missed. I, however, will confess to having missed the Busted Flush, the sandy rumped sun bunnies, and the sleazy streets of Florida. A good book, but not at the top of my list of McGees. (I've read them all several times, a few of them many times.)
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By L. R. in So Cal on August 23, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read all the T McGee books except one, and for some reason this one sticks out as my favorite. John D MacDonald is a superb wordsmith. Just ask Sue Grafton! MacDonald used colors, Grafton uses alphabet. It is tight, well-written, as descriptive as it needs to be and I didn't want to put it down! MacDonald is masterful in so many ways. He never resorts to profanity and he gets away with it. Unheard of, by today's standards! For those of you who've not read about Travis, I surely do envy you! Some great reading awaits you! Larry 'Possum' Ronnow
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 10, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
When a friend recommends Travis McGee as the perfect man to solve a problem, Travis McGee finds himself employed by Mono Yeoman - a woman who is as tough, and as hard, as nails. McGee leaves his Florida houseboat for the Nevada desert, where he expects to to help Mono untangle her estate from the greedy fingers of her estranged husband. But he barly gets his bags unpacked when a sniper does away with his employer.
Any fan knows that nothing is more calculated to upset McGee than murdering someone right under his nose. The detective/troubleshooter has very little patience under the best of circumstances and he takes that kind of interference very personally. So client or no, McGee dives in to find the killer. And uncover a complex land and money scheme at the same time. In short order it becomes obvious that nothing is ever as obvious as it first seems and McGee is on his way to a showdown that might bring an unexpectedly swift end to John MacDonald's series.
McGee is the classic not-quite-noir hero, mad of the same cloth as Nero Wolfe's Archie. Tough, a dash sarcastic, but basically a defender of the underdog, his solutions to problems combines subtlety and violence in just the right mix. By now generations of mystery lovers have come to see McGee as their man in Lauderdale. A solution up to the toughest challenge. This is one of the earliest McGee's (The Deep Blue Good-by was first) and remains one of the best after nearly 40 years .
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