Re: RARA-AVIS: Practical tips from hardboiled dicks

From: Doug Bassett (
Date: 06 Nov 2000

The Travis McGee novels are full of all sorts of interesting information. Just a few things off the top of my head:

Hide money in a car -- hammer dents in car. Insert plastic-wrapped money. Cover money with goopy filler. Bake filler solid. Sand and smooth, then match paint.

Quick but effective ways to truss somebody up
--Electrical tape (LONG LAVENDER LOOK). Superglue

LONG LAVENDER also has a careful explanation of throwing knives -- the principles behind them, the mechanics, etc.

Good way to get rid of a hangover -- long beach run.
(Forget which book has this, and frankly, I have my doubts. I favor a greasy cheeseburger and fries -- if you can keep it down.)

There's lots more -- unfortunately I'm moving soon and all my books are packed away.

One non-McGee -- according to Crumley's LAST GOOD KISS, if you want to shoot somebody in the foot, make him stand on a phonebook.


--- wrote:
> I have a favor to ask of the Rara Avis brain
> trust... but one that might
> actually be fun.
> I'm a writing a story for Men's Health magazine
> (where I work) about all of
> the cool practical tips/advice that I've picked up
> from reading hardboiled
> detective novels over the years--everything from how
> to sweet talk someone to
> how mix a perfect cocktail to how to get out of a
> sticky situation.
> Anyone have a favorite bit of practical wisdom I
> should be including? In
> exchange, you'd receive mention in the magazine, a
> copy when it appears next
> March, and of course, my eternal gratitude.
> Try as I might, I'm having trouble remembering all
> of the amazing things I've
> picked up in P.I. novels over the years (he says,
> lighting a match from his
> thumbnail and drinking deeply from a tumbler of
> Plymouth gin).
> Best,
> Duane Swierczynski

===== Doug Bassett

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