Re: RARA-AVIS: Travis McGee

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 16 Feb 2002

> I don't remember where I read it, but I seem to recall that MacDonald
> used to pull out the Black title at contract renewal time, threatening
> to kill off the lucrative hero during negotiations.
> Hey, Willeford's Grimhaven exists, maybe this one does, too.
> Mark

I understand the "Black" McGee, unlike "Grimhaven", is a myth, perhaps started by MacDonald - if the threat is sufficient, why bother writing the novel? Was MacDonald, like Travis, presumably (the Busted Flush), an accomplished poker player? While on the topic of the Busted Flush, reading Marvin Albert/"Tony Rome"'s "Miami Mayhem" was quite a revelation for me when I discovered that it was published approx 2 years before the first Travis.
(For those unaware of this book, Tony Rome is a private dick who lives on a Florida houseboat, which he won in a crap game & re-named, IIRC, the Straight Pass in honour of how he won it. Does anyone know if anyone ever asked John D about this? I would think the most likely explanation was that the big fella had read "Miami Mayhem", or heard about it & later borrowed the idea unconsciously/inadvertently. I can't imagine that he deliberately pinched the concept, it doesn't seem in keeping.


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