Dress Her in Indigo: A Travis McGee Novel
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Dress Her in Indigo: A Travis McGee Novel (Travis McGee #11)

4.03 of 5 stars 4.03  ·  rating details  ·  1,717 ratings  ·  46 reviews
From a beloved master of crime fiction, Dress Her in Indigo is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.

Travis McGee could never deny his old friend anything. So before Meyer even says please, McGee agrees to accompany him to Mexico to reconstruct the last mysterious months of a young woman’s life—on a fat expe...more
ebook, 304 pages
Published January 8th 2013 by Random House (first published January 1st 1969)
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Eleven books into my rereading of the Travis McGee series and as usual there’s a Good and Bad side to it.

Good = Travis McGee continues to be an interesting character who has rejected the responsibilities associated with a modern American life circa 1969 by working as a kind of hybrid detective/con man who gets involved in shady dealings to make a buck. On the surface McGee is just a lazy boat bum on a series of extended vacations, and he’s willing to occasionally risk his life to finance this li...more
Number 11 in the series, from 1969, and this one's a bit off formula: McGee isn't out to recover money or goods, but rather a life story or perhaps a reputation. McGee and Meyer spend most of the book in Oaxaca, trying to find out what really happened to a wealthy businessman's hippy daughter. As always, the story pulls you along with a fair amount of narrative complexity for a thriller of its time; there is the usual "dated" social commentary (here on the counterculture), which I quite enjoy; a...more
Number 11 in this classic series by John D. MacDonald finds modern knight-errant Travis McGee embarking on a strange mission at the behest of his hirsute sidekick, Meyer: go down to Mexico, where Bix Bowie--the beautiful young daughter and only child of a rich, recently crippled friend of Meyer’s--reportedly has died in a car crash, and try to fulfill the bereaved father’s yearning “to know if she was having a good time” (p13). All expenses are paid, first class accommodations all of the way, pl...more
Harv Griffin
pic of DRESS HER IN INDIGO on my shelf

Travis McGee takes on the Isle of Lesbos, below the border, copyright 1969. You’re thinking of oral sex, aren’t you? Stop that! Below the border refers to Mexico.

John D., having done such an awesome job with A DEADLY SHADE OF GOLD below the border in 1965, sends Travis down there again. [Stop it!] He pushes the limits of the crime novel, setting new standards, taking on the hippie culture of drugs and free [not] love [Not!]; throw in revenge and torture almost of the “family honor killing” varie...more
I'm not entirely certain that this is the author or really distateful book I remember. The author's Celtic surname and a protagonist who takes a big trip overseas every time life goes tits-up seem right. What I remember most about the Travis McGee's character in Mexico was the cold, grim depiction of murders and mentally incapacitated loose women. It had enough compartmentalized moralizing to be Scots-Irish sermon typing, but was the moralizing more about the author's WW II background?
A young woman named Beatrice Bowie (Bix) dies in an automobile crash on a lonely mountain road in Mexico. The father wants to know more about the time she spent in Mexico and who she was. He has lost his wife, is now confined to a wheelchair and since he spent more time with business than with his daughter, he wants to discover who his daughter really was. Travis McGee and Fred Meyer are hired to travel to Mexico to find the answers. The trip finds them chasing down any clue they can find. Bix h...more
JoAnna Spring
Much better than the last McGee. Trav and Meyer travel to Mexico to investigate the death of a friend's daughter. (I suspect she is actually still alive...!!)

I believe this is why I love Mr. McGee so much:

"Old friend, there are people - young and old - that I like, and people that I do not like. The former are always in short supply. I am turned off by humorless fanaticism, whether it's revolutionary mumbo-jumbo by a young one, or loud lessons from the scripture by an old one. We are all comical...more
Jeff Yoak
Meyers and McGee travel to Mexico on behalf of a father who lost his daughter there. The girl had gone down, fallen in with a bad crowd, became addicted to drugs and died mysteriously. The father wanted to know what life had been like for his daughter.

I've decided to take a break in re-reading the McGee series, but this was an excellent one to stop on. It was a great story. It has the wonderful balance of characters, poetic description and adventure I love in the McGee stories. It also has one o...more
I like John D. MacDonalds's Travis McGee series and given how difficult is to get your hands on the original paperbacks in used book stores, so do a lot of other people.

I have to say though, that unlike most of the other stories, this one doesn't hold up as well. It is definitely a book of its 60s time period. A much darker story, it delves into the degradation and dissipation of the drug culture, which is unusually heavy for pulp fiction. Not one of my faves, but I still love Travis and the Bus...more
DRESS HER IN INDIGO. (1969). John D. MacDonald. ****.
A Friend of Meyer’s asks him to do a favor. Meyer’s friend is currently hospitalized with severe injuries as a result of an automobile. His life is in shambles: his wife died a few years earlier, and his only daughter walked out of his life, only to have died in an accident in Mexico. His business career had been highly successful, so money was no object, but he realized as he lay there in bed that he didn’t know his daughter. He wanted Meyer...more
I've loved John D. MacDonald for years. I read him back in my high school days--I'm sure much to the consternation of some teachers. LOL I always like going back and reading, and I'm always amazed at how well he's able to get little tics of human behavior and psyche. But sometimes it's almost over-reaching, a little over-ripe. Some have compared him to Dickens--namely Kurt Vonnegut Jr--and that really is a stretch. What really disturbed me here is how sex essentially was everything.

In the case...more
Bev Hankins
This is the way private eye books should be written. If I were prone to this sort of thing John D MacDonald would have sold me for good with Dress Her in Indigo (another of my Birth Year Challenge Books). I'm not saying that I'm hooked on Travis McGee and will be rushing out to find all the other books, but MacDonald can write. Imagery? You got it. Philosophical commentary? You got it. Social commentary on the world of the late 1960s? You got it. Interesting detective, side-kick, and peripheral...more
I enjoyed the characters, especially Travis McGee and his sidekick, the economist! Meyer, although their attitudes towards women, etc., are strictly Madmen sexist. The author's views seem to embrace 70's feminism, environmentalism, but his attitudes towards homosexuality seem to be that homosexual behavior is criminal, somehow. Nevertheless, the story is a page turner and when you find out whodunnit, it all sort of makes sense.
I took a break from reading Christian thinkers from the 1960s to read this Travis McGee novel written at the end of the 1960s.

What an entertaining read. This book took me into a total world of fiction...it may have read true in the 1960s but it is hard in 2012 to think that there was a time when people ate many big meals, men drank all day long with no effect other than enjoying the rich flavors of the beverages, people engaged in unprotected sex and brief encounters without psychological scarri...more
Dawn Brotherton
Not my favorite McGee novel, but it was set in Mexico, so it was okay. Thought I'd read them all, but I don't remember this one at all. I had it wrong in the end too.
Kurt Reichenbaugh
McGee investigating events that culminated in a young woman's death in Mexico. Written in 1969 and an outsider's look at youth (hippies), drop-outs and drugs. A bit dated but still a suspenseful read. It could have easily taken place in California, considering this was written around the time of the Manson murders, but I'm thinking MacDonald used the novel as an opportunity to visit Mexico instead. A book of its time and interesting for that.
this is a great McGee read, the theme echoes of Manson era follies and escapades with the charismatic psycho leader (Rockland) leading young uns astray with drugs and sex, and a surprising twist in the end gives this one a 4 star for me,,,,JDM has the most unique writing style I have seen in this genre,, S. King cites him as a big influence , read King and you can see the similarities in the two , the way they weave that wordy web....
Number 11 - set in Mexico in 1969 where a lot of young adults are escaping to and engaging in the free flowing drug life. Hard to imagine this happening today. But the dangers are easy to imagine. Lots of folks die in this one.

Also interesting to read of the generational gap and communication issues.

Lastly, lots of interesting women and highly sexually active ones. Lady Rebecca Diven-Harrison is quite the lady.
Nancy Moore
I've read all of this series and loved every one. I read them in order - I always read a series in order, in fact, I'm compulsive about it - because I like to follow the character's life and the author's writing as they both grow. Mr. MacDonald never disappointed - each one is a great thrill ride and they got better each time. Read my review on "The Deep Blue Good-by" to meet Travis, and get ready for some great reading!
This is a pretty good entry in the Travis McGee series. The premise was a bit weak and I figured out part of the solution fairly early. But, like a lot of stories in this series, the solution is a combination of several related solutions and I only figured out one of 3 or 4 parts. It was entertaining and the ending was pretty good but the characters are not particularly likeable and the solution was less than tidy.
Wonderful writing especially in the beginning when he's giving the back story to Bix and her father. Interesting plot too. However the book was written in 1969 and it shows, especially in the level of casual sexism. Despite that I enjoyed reading it and although I won't be in a rush to read his other books, I will probably read one every now and again.
David Ward
Dress Her in Indigo (Travis McGee #11) by John D. MacDonald (Fawcett 1969)(Fiction-Mystery)- these are wonderfully written mysteries, light as a feather, disposable as a tissue, and as dated as a rotary telephone. They are all great fun! My rating: 7/10, finished 1990.
A different spin, yet again. Set in Mexico, Oxaxca to be exact. with Meyer in tow as co-deterctive. The story circled on drugs and degradation, predators and prey. There was the characteristic humor and sex, but I felt I needed a shower after reading the book.
Interesting story - the moral of which seems to be that if you're a drug addict, beware middle aged lesbians. I've said this before, these books are very dated. But as a child of the Cold War, it's interesting to me to get this peek into the 60s/70s.
This is my first Travis McGee story. It was a little darker than I expected. I found the characters very interesting to get to know. And it was an interesting look into the 1960's drug culture. All in all an enjoyable read.
Very nasty graphic descriptions of torture and drug addiction, but a good book over all. I did guess what the conclusion would be, almost from page one, but it was still worth reading to find out the details.
Less focus on female relationships and more focus on plot. Also looks at hippie culture in the late '60s. Plot builds nicely to satisfying conclusion. A better Travis McGee. Highly recommeded.
JSA Lowe
Hippies are dirty, sweet uneducated Mexican girls are great for hot vacation sex, and marijuana will make you "a committed and incurable lesbian"! It's all true. Ay yi yi. Made me miss Oaxaca though.
Travis McGee at his best in Mexico! Nothing more to say,

MacDonald's colorful titles were the kind of escape I sought prior to university exams, and read again later, and perhaps listened to, too.
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John D MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pa, and educated at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Syracuse and Harvard, where he took an MBA in 1939. During WW2, he rose to the rank of Colonel, and while serving in the Army and in the Far East, sent a short story to his wife for sale, successfully. After the war, he decided to try writing for a year, to see if he could make a living. Over 500 short stori...more
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“Old friend, there are people—young and old—that I like, and people that I do not like. The former are always in short supply. I am turned off by humorless fanaticism, whether it's revolutionary mumbo-jumbo by a young one, or loud lessons from scripture by and old one. We are all comical, touching, slapstick animals, walking on our hind legs, trying to make it a noble journey from womb to tomb, and the people who can't see it all that way bore hell out of me.” 7 likes
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