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Cinnamon Skin [Mass Market Paperback]

John D. MacDonald
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 20 1996 Travis McGee Mysteries
When Travis McGee's friend Meyer lent his boat to his niece Norma, and her new husband Even, the boat exploded out in the waters of the Florida Keys. Travis McGee thinks it's no accident, and clues lead him to ponder possibilities of drugs and also to wonder where Evan was when his wife was killed....

"Proves again that MacDonald keeps getting better with each new adventure."


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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

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.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Old Storytelling at its Best June 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A boat blows up coming into harbor in the Florida Keys. Within hours a Chilean Terrorist group claims responsibility for planting the bomb with intent to kill the famed economist Dr. Meyer. Private Detective Travis McGee is suspicious and tracks Meyer -- a good friend -- down and finds he was in fact, not aboard the ill-fated boat.
Photographs from a nearby boat reveal that a man Evan Lawrence also may not have been aboard the boat. Lawrence recently married Meyer's niece, and when McGee's suspicions seem confirmed, the two friends (he and Meyer) begin a hunt to find out about Evan Lawrence's past.
Thus begins Cinnamon Skin, a taut, fun mystery thriller that leads two friends through the criminal past that formed a killer. Some of the most deft touches in the novel come when MacDonald describes the lives of people along the Rio Grande Valley in southwest Texas. At one point, I actually got out a road map and traced their quest from Eagle Pass to El Paso and back all the way to Brownsville. MacDonald blends fact with fiction at just the right pitch in this, his twentieth Travis McGee novel.
MacDonald writes like a writer who has earned it, man. He seems to know his story so well, there is very little drift in the way he tells a story. Each sentence is exact or darn near exact, and the end result is a taut mystery that is very fun and very entertaining -- the kind of novel you'll want to talk about with friends.
I highly recommend Cinnamon Skin to folks who like good old storytelling at its best, most genuine form. It is the perfect airplane, poolside, vacation novel to help you beat the heat this summer. And its depth will leave you feeling satisfied at any time of year. Good stuff.
Please hit the "helpful" button if you found this review helpful. I like to know you care.
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5.0 out of 5 stars "Did Somebody Say MacDonald?" March 11 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
John D. MacDonald's 20th Travis McGee book "Cinnamon Skin" reads as well today as it did when published in 1982. It is one of the very few books I have ever re-read and it was refreshing to find that it is just as exciting, just as relevant today as it was when I first read it. In "Cinnamon Skin," we find Meyer's newly-wed niece Norma and her husband being murdered aboard Meyer's boat "The John Maynard Keynes"--and, of course, the circumstances are suspicious. Was the explosion at sea revenge for a drug deal gone wrong? Did it have something to do with Meyer's own past (after all, he'd been in Chile a few years earlier)? Regardless, it is greatly disturbing to Meyer who enlists his friend Travis to help. Meyer's loss is Travis', after all, Travis is rough and tough but philosophic,and the ensuing McGee adventure takes the two on a convulted odyssey from Ft. Lauderdale to Texas to Mexico. MacDonald holds us spellbound with his plot revelations, but he is also a master at capturing the local color (especially noteworthy here is his interesting "history" of Cancun), and of sparking his suspense with daubs of humor. MacDonald's works frequently touch on socially significant issues, such as the environment, and especially on the damages that developers have been plying on the Florida coast, from shabby construction to irresponsible waste disposal. He likes to remind us that we are, after all, in the 20th century. "Soon the bosses of the microcomputer revolution will sell us preprogrammed units for each household which (will provide for everything). It will be the biggest revolution of all, bigger than the wheel, bigger than Franklin's kite, bigger than paper towels. Read more ›
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4.0 out of 5 stars The last book in the Travis McGee series. May 12 1997
By A Customer
Format:Audio Cassette
This is the last book in the Travis McGee series written shortly before McDonald died. Although it has all the classic elements of earlier works in the series, it lacks the emotional punch which made many of the earlier books stand out from the detective genre crowd.

McGee and Meyer travel to the Yucatan in pursuit of a typically malevolent villian who has wronged a beautiful woman with "cinnamon skin". The character development is up to McDonald's usual high standards, complete with the requisite philosophical flights of Travis' balanced against Meyer's earth-rooted reasoning. In an unusual twist, it is actually Meyer who overcomes the bad guy in the final scene which takes place deep in the Mexican jungle.

If you have been a fan of the McGee series, all of which contained a color in their titles, this story will not disappoint you. In fact, reading it alongside one of the early (1950's) Travis McGee books offers some fascinating insights into McDonald's personal development as his hero acquires the politically correct attitudes of the decade.

It has been rumored for years that there was a final McGee novel with the color black in the title in which the aging hero dies. Some have even speculated that "Spenser" author Robert B. Parker was working to complete the unfinished McDonald manuscript. True McGee (and McDonald) fans will be glad neither has materialized. Closing with this book, and never being heard from again, is a far more appropriate ending to a pair of long and storied careers
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic McGee - on a mission for a friend
For McGee afficionados, this is a must read. Travis is in classic form, driven to avenge the wrongful death of the niece of his closest friend, Meyer. Read more
Published on Feb. 20 2003 by Paul Skinner
5.0 out of 5 stars Meyer Takes The Lead
In the last few Travis McGee novels, MacDonald focuses more than before on McGee's close friend Meyer. CINNAMON SKIN is a story in which Meyer takes the lead. Read more
Published on June 9 2002 by Peter Kenney
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply The Best
As a mystery writer making the convention circuit as my debut novel is in initial release, I find that John D. Read more
Published on July 12 2001 by Kent Braithwaite
5.0 out of 5 stars MacDonald's BEST "Travis McGee" Mystery Novel?
It wouldn't take much of an argument to convince me that CINNAMON SKIN is the best -- or at least one of the best few -- of the fine "color-titled" Travis McGee mystery... Read more
Published on April 24 2000 by Gary Scott Nunley
4.0 out of 5 stars a good mystery
I really enjoyed the book. The most interstering parts were when Travis was thinking about why he didn't want to leave Florida. Read more
Published on July 5 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic mystery novel, one of MacDonald's fine early works
I like the solid character development and enjoy the clever ways MacDonald finds to draw McGee into events that, at first, seem to have little to do with him.
Published on June 28 1999
4.0 out of 5 stars cinnimon skin rules but...
it's certainly not the last of the oh so great Travis McGee series. "The Lonely Silver Rain" was the ultimate McGee book.
Published on Dec 13 1998
3.0 out of 5 stars A light read, more character study than mystery
Travis and Meyer set out to unravel the accidental death of Meyer's niece and new nephew-in-law, and quickly discover it is more insidious than accidental. Read more
Published on Sept. 22 1998
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