Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Travis McGee Has a Mexican Adventure

His eleventh adventure finds Travis McGee away from his familiar stomping grounds in Florida. A lot of bad luck has fallen upon the family of T. Harlan Bowie. His wife, Liz, has died suddenly and hideously from a brain tumor. Bowie himself is left paralyzed by an automobile accident, and then the gods decide to smack him around a little more by killing his only child, a daughter named Bix, in an auto accident in Mexico. Bowie is heart-broken and guilt-ridden because as a hard-charging businessman, he didn't pay nearly enough attention to Bix and now she has been taken from him.

Bix had traveled to Mexico with a number of other young people and Bowie is anxious to know what her final weeks were like--was she happy? He can't go to Mexico himself and so he appeals to his friend Meyer, who in turn appeals tohis friend, McGee, and before long, McGee and Meyer are on a series of planes, deep into the heart of Mexico to investigate and report back to Bowie.

What they find isn't very pretty. This book was written in 1969, when the hippie movement and the drug culture were blooming, and Bix had clearly falling into what most adults of the time would have considered to be "bad company." McGee and Meyer will dutifully investigate and, naturally, McGee will find time to bed some interesting women who are desperately in need of his services.

Like all of the books in this series, this one is pretty dated and reading McGee's observations of women, gay people and others can cause one to cringe at times. If you can get past that, this is an OK read, but it's not one of the better books in the series. Neither the problem at hand nor the characters he encounters in this outing really seem up to McGee's usual standards.


  1. I had a book about MacDonald (which I can't find now) that discussed this one as being one of the author's least favorites. He and the readers both think he missed the boat on the hippie scene by not setting the events in San Francisco instead of Mexico. But MacDonald wanted an extended stay in Mexico and opted to do the novel there. I liked it, but agree that it's not as good as his others.

    1. Yeah, I kept thinking all the way through this book that it looked like an excuse for MacDonald to take a long vacation in Mexico and write it all off as a business expense.

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