Re: RARA-AVIS: Travis McGee

From: Ray Skirsky (
Date: 18 Feb 2002

At 06:14 PM 2/16/2002 -0500, George wrote:

>There was a longtime rumor that John D. MacDonald had written the final
>Travis McGee novel (with Black as its title color) before his death, then
>locked it in a safe, with instruction that the book be published
>posthumously. The other part of the rumor was that MacDonald would take
>McGee with him to the grave (McGee dies at the end of the book.) Has
>anybody heard any more about this?

Yes, I remember this rumor going around in South Florida in the early 80s. McGee and MacDonald were understandably popular there. :-)

The title of the book was supposedly, "Edged in Black," and McGee dies at the end. This was to prevent other authors from continuing the series. As I recall, at the time I heard the story a new pastiche Nero Wolfe story was being published, to the dismay of many Wolfe fans. This may have been the reason for the start of the rumor. Of course, his estate may have supressed this book so that they can continue, but I suspect it was just the result of some offhand remark about or by MacDonald, who was quoted quite often in newspaper columns and Sunday supplements in Florida.

After JDM died, we all waited for this last story--I was living in San Diego by then, but it never came out. I wondered how McGee was going to write about his death in the first person :-).

As far as I know, the last McGee piece written by JDM is the BOMC story I mentioned in an earlier email.


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