Re: RARA-AVIS: John MacDonald's colors

Date: 07 Feb 2004


Re your question below:

> Everybody knows but me. At least that is how it
> seems. What is the role of
> the colors in the John MacDonald titles? I'm
> usually a quick study but
> countless novels later, I cannot see a pattern.
> Without a clue!

In an interview I once read, MacDonald said that the only reason for the colors was to provide readers with an easy-to-remember clue as to whether or not they'd read the book before.

Hence, "No, I've already read the SCARLET one; haven't read the AMBER one, but I recall seeing the movie; is
'TURQUOISE' even a color?" etc.

So the only pattern was that a color word in a given McGee title had to be one he hadn't used prior to that point.

It could still get confusing. He wrote a non-series book called A FLASH OF GREEN some years before starting the McGee series. Years later he wrote a McGee book called THE GREEN RIPPER.


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