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Cinnamon Skin (Travis McGee #20)

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  2,767 ratings  ·  65 reviews
When Travis McGee's friend Meyer lent his boat to his niece Norma, and her new husband Even, the boat exploded out in the waters of the Florida Keys. Travis McGee thinks it's no accident, and clues lead him to ponder possibilities of drugs and also to wonder where Evan was when his wife was killed....

"Proves again that MacDonald keeps getting better with each new adventure
...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published April 20th 1996 by Fawcett (first published 1982)
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Stormy Weather by Carl HiaasenTourist Season by Carl HiaasenThe Deep Blue Good-By by John D. MacDonaldBasket Case by Carl HiaasenSkinny Dip by Carl Hiaasen
Florida Mystery/Thrillers
20th out of 128 books — 69 voters
Rosemary's Baby by Ira LevinSalt by Mark KurlanskyFrom the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. KonigsburgHarpy Thyme by Piers AnthonySilver Nutmeg by Norah Lofts
Spices in the Title
18th out of 57 books — 15 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Harv Griffin
Jan 26, 2013 Harv Griffin rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: novelists who want to up their game
Recommended to Harv by: Dad
Shelves: own, reviewed
pic of my copy of CINNAMON

In DREADFUL LEMON Trav’s boat gets wrecked by a bomb: Trav wakes up in the hospital; ditto Busted Flush, which still floats. But John D. is on a roll here. In CINNAMON SKIN Meyer’s boat John Maynard Keynes is blasted into tiny scraps of floating debris, while Meyer was giving a speech ashore, but Meyer’s niece Norma and new hubby were borrowing the boat.

Meyer: “We’re each expert in our own death.”

The Feds descend on an incompetent terrorism investigation that changes into a drug smuggling invest
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Tony
CINNAMON SKIN. (1982). John D. MacDonald. ****.
McGee had arranged a lecture tour for Meyer in Toronto. Without advance knowledge, Meyer’s only remaining blood relative, his niece, and her newly acquired husband decided to visit Meyer at the same time. As a poor substitute, Meyer lets them stay on his houseboat, and provides them with a captain who can take them around his waters as a kind of honeymoon. When the boat is out at sea, a huge explosion rips through it, sending it immediately to the b
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Cindy
I do not remember which Travis McGee mystery I read first, but I can assure you I read them all. I remember this color in MacDonald's color-themed mysteries--but that only means it was probably a more recent one. There was something comforting about returning over and over again to his world on the water, on the Busted Flush, his houseboat in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. I liked his best friend Meyer, the economist, his neighbor, on the John Maynard Keynes. Meyer was as well-known and well-regarded ...more
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" (from Wikipedia) to meet Travis, and get ready for some great reading!
DR
Starts with a bang, ends with a whimper. While Meyer is lecturing out of the country, someone blows up his tubby but famously named little cruiser, "The John Maynard Keynes," killing his niece & her husband on their honeymoon, plus the captain/fishing guide. Poor gentle Meyer still is traumatized from his encounter with a monster in McGee No#19, and losing both his longtime home and his only living blood relative in an explosive white flash of light may be two emotional blows too many. So--w ...more
Jenna
Another breathtaking adventure of Travis McGee down Yucatan, Mexico with an economist friend Meyer. Hunting the hunters of women..... a big, bad, predator. A jack-of-all-trades, a con man whom able to device his guiles to ensnare vulnerable women, and used his charisma as a gambit then kill them for it.

His motive:
He's a hunter a loner, and women are the game he specializes. A man who seems affable, agreeable, gregarious, fun to have around. That is his act. That is his camouflage suit, and every
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Andrea
Aug 01, 2011 Andrea added it
Cinnamon Skin is the next-to-last installment of the Travis McGee series.



I loved it!



WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!



First and foremost, how wonderful to see Meyer back to his old self, and how nice to see most of the intrigue and drama staged locally. I love that the John D MacDonald has taken me all over the world, but so close to the end of the series, it's a comfort to see Travis returning to his roots - helping out a good friend with a mostly-local problem.



It broke my heart when Meyer's boat ble
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JoAnna Spring
You are going to be so sick of me telling you how much I love Travis McGee. No really, you are. There are 21 books, and having just read the penultimate novel, I've decided to start at the beginning again, rather than read the last book. I'm just not ready to live in a world where there are no new McGees for me to read.

But more on that later. Today, we're gushing over Cinnamon Skin, which was written in 1982 and is the next-to-last book in the series. Quick plot recap, because apparently some pe
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Jim
I've been working my way through the Travis McGee series. I've been a fan for years and decided to re-read them in order. This is a satisfying entry, the next to the last. McGee and Meyer search for the person who blew up Meyer's boat with Meyer's niece, her new husband and a crew member aboard. Along the way McGee is dealing with his current love, Anne Renzetti from "Free Fall in Crimson" who is deciding to stay in McGee's life or move on with her own.
The search for the culprit takes McGee and
...more
Deb Grove
I have 48 of John MacDonald's books which I read many yrs ago. 21 have colors in the title and feature Travis McGee who calls his profession, "salvage consultant, and he recovers others' property for a fee. In this book he looks for the killer of his friend Meyer's niece. I like Travis ramblings to himself. Here is the one I like in this book (1982) Travis and McGee were at a mall observing a few people in a computer store --Geeks-- and a lot more in the arcade playing video games. He says to hi ...more
wally
28 jun 15
#53 from macdonald for me and #20 travis mcgee...one left after this one but the man wrote something like 70 novels so all is well and all manner of things are well. onward, ever onward. just finished Free Fall in Crimson if it matters...does one read influence the next. oh you betcha.

3 jul 15
finished. great story. travis and or mcgee move around in this one, toronto, houston texas, a number of places in new york, of course florida both fort lauderdale and naples...and a variety of plac
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Michael Hames
my favorite writer.Tells stories in a very realistic way,not your typical hero.
Jeff Frane
Back in the day, I'm pretty sure I read every single Travis McGee novel in the original paperbacks, always with the slightly racy cover featuring a sultry woman. I devoured them once I found the series but somehow never thought to revisit them. Random House has republished the series in very handsome (and discreet) trade paperbacks (and Kindle). Cinnamon Skin in one of the last MacDonald wrote but he certainly hadn't lost his touch. Wry, observant (occasionally a bit pedantic) and suspenseful, w ...more
Shuriu
There are no hundred percent heroes.
Every man can be broken when things happen to him in a certain order, with a momentum and an intensity that awaken ancient fears in the back of his mind. He knows what he must do, but suddenly the body will not obey the mind. Panic becomes like an unbearably shrill sound. (p. 1)

"There are two good ways to get them [leeches] off: touch them with a lighted end of a cigaret or slide a sliver of bamboo under one up to the head end and give a little flip and he'll
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Tim
I'm in devouring mode again, and found a paperback of this 20th Travis McGee novel in a store yesterday, and read it in virtually one fell swoop (took time to eat some dinner). I want Travis McGee to be my friend: smart without being intellectual, moral without being moralistic, confident without being arrogant--perfectly imperfect (and he would not hesitate to use the word "imperfect").

This novel has a fantastic premise (a twist on a standard JDM plot line): a con man gets away with the mark's
...more
Rick Brockmeyer
Travis McGee travels to Texas and Mexico with his friend Meyer to investigate the death of Meyer's niece and two other people. They died in a suspicious explosion while aboard Meyer's boat.

I have read many of MacDonald's Travis McGee novels. This book is fairly typical of the series. While I enjoy MacDonald's writing style, I felt that the ending to 'Cinnamon Skin' was a little flat and unexciting. Otherwise, a good read.
Carolee
Not being a fan of mysteries, I enjoyed the location of the book and the many characters. Each person Travis McGee meets is a unique individual, captured in a few words of description and much dialog. The murderer is known, so a lot of the book is spent learning about how a person like this becomes a person like this. Interesting psychological study.
Kevin Downey
Not the best of the Travis McGee tales by John D. MacDonald, but reasonably satisfying nevertheless. Someone has blown up the boat owned by McGee's economist friend, Meyer. Meyer was not aboard, but his niece was -- on her honeymoon -- and Meyer is determined to find out who is responsible, in part to recover the sense of self he lost in Free Fall in Crimson.

MacDonald was one of the best of the post-World War II pulp fictioneers. He introduced Travis McGee in 1964, nearly two decades after est
...more
Shawn Conner
More like Cinnamon Exposition. MacDonald has a reputation as a great storyteller, but it couldn't have been based on this book, which stumbles from one expository passage to another. And hero McGee's ruminations on women and relationships are a joke.
Lynette
Real first rate nail biter but complete with MacDonald’s prophecies, social theories, observations and rich descriptions. Completely creepy bad guy and salvation for Meyer… Can’t wait for the next one I can find!!
p.s. – still in love with Travis McGee… sigh
Eric
Well, it really did not catch my imagination. I found reading it a bit of a chore. I'm sure that my dissatisfaction came from not knowing the characters very well.

McGee and Meyer chase down a unique kind of serial killer, which I found plausible but a little but far fetched.
Drew
I got this provocatively titled book from my grandpa, who's a fan of the Travis McGee novels. He said he liked it because it was a murder mystery where they also "do a lot of philosophizing." And he wasn't wrong.
Jim
Meyer has come apart and needs to be put back together. The book travels to Dallas, Houston, Harlingen, Utica NY, and Cancun in search of a misogynistic, serial killer. The book has less derring-do and more detective work. Characters are brought in with a quick backstory and then fade back out. MacDonald is a good enough story teller to pull it off. This book has a different feel than the others in the Travis McGee series – it felt thrown together and Meyer was the main character rather than McG ...more
Chuck
Since I have finisjed all the Connelly, Sandford, Child, Baldacci, Demille and Grisham mysteries it left me searching for new mysteries. Instead I found John D. McDonald who was not new and who passed away nearly thirty years ago. This was my eighteenth bovel of his to finish and I have not been disappointed even once. Travis McGee and his sidekick Meyer travel all ove this country and Mexico to cleverly find a man that marries, robs and kills attractive women. As always the story is about the b ...more
Stephen
The Travis McGee novels were written over a span of three decades. I much preferred this one, published in 1982, to one published in 1964 I read recently. Set in the '80s of Florida cocaine runners, big Texas oil and the beginning of the current computer age it somehow keeps it's noir intact. (Maybe not so much with the terry cloth headbands and braided belts.) One of his earlier novels had been made into the movie CAPE FEAR which changed very little when it was remade by Martin Scorcese in the ...more
Bobby Mathews
It's John D. MacDonald and Travis McGee. In other words: It may not be perfect, but it's always incredibly good.
Nanosynergy
Best friend, Meyer, lends his board to his newlywed niece and her new husband while he is out of town. Meyer's boat is blown up with all aboard. As things unfold, it becomes clear this was no accident, but the act of a serial killer. Meyer and McGee go in search of the killer.
Kenny
McGee has changed a lot from the first books of the series. He seems to take life and relationships more seriously. Nice to see a character grow. Writing has changed some too, with a lot less social commentary. Plot is great, kept me going until the last page and I met lots of interesting characters on the way. The villian stays in the background and I only learnt about him second-hand; nice to stay away from a creepy mind. Meyer plays an important role; McGee and Meyer make a nice buddy pair fo ...more
Keith Hebner
One of the best of the Travis McGee series.
Hayden Trenholm
I picked up my first John MacDonald more or less at random -- now I have to go back and start at the beginning! MacDonald mixes hard-boiled detective style (Magee is not technically a detective -- he just 'looks into things') with a strong moral stance and an even stronger sense of place. This book comes fairly late in the Travis magee sage. It should be fascinating to find out how he got there. A friend of mine said my books -- Defining Diana and Steel Whispers -- reminded him of MacDonald. I d ...more
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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 stor ...more
More about John D. MacDonald...

Other Books in the Series

Travis McGee (1 - 10 of 21 books)
  • The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee #1)
  • Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee, #2)
  • A Purple Place for Dying (Travis McGee #3)
  • The Quick Red Fox (Travis McGee #4)
  • A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5)
  • Bright Orange for the Shroud (Travis McGee #6)
  • Darker Than Amber (Travis McGee #7)
  • One Fearful Yellow Eye (Travis McGee #8)
  • Pale Gray for Guilt (Travis McGee #9)
  • The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper (Travis McGee #10)
Cape Fear The Deep Blue Good-By (Travis McGee #1) A Deadly Shade of Gold (Travis McGee #5) Nightmare in Pink (Travis McGee, #2) Free Fall in Crimson (Travis McGee #19)

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