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The Quick Red Fox: A T...
John D. MacDonald
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The Quick Red Fox: A Travis McGee Novel (Travis McGee #4)

3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  2,616 Ratings  ·  150 Reviews
From the author of A Purple Place for Dying and The Deep Blue Good-by comes the republication of the bestseller starring Travis McGee, a real American hero. Reissue.

From the Paperback edition.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published November 30th 1999 by Random House Audio (first published 1964)
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Jun 05, 2016 Lyn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
John MacDonald’s 1964 contribution to the post-modern mythic Florida legend that is Travis McGee (the fourth in the series) is more of tough guy with a mind McGee taking care of business and doing a “favor for friend”.

This episode finds our salvage consultant hero covering the backside of a Hollywood vixen with some indiscretions and some film. Sex, Lies and Videotape in 1964 does come across as somewhat dated in our Reality TV Blurred Lines morality, but as in most of these novels, the real act
Mar 22, 2016 Greg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think I missed the fox in this. I really thought Travis McGee would either be helping out or partnering with an actual fox. Or maybe just hanging out on his houseboat with one. You know sort of a Disney-esque entry into the series.

There is very little Disney-esque in this book.
Nov 01, 2015 Darwin8u rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015, fiction, crime
"The world is shiny and the surface is a little too frangible. Something can reach out of the black and grab you at any moment. Everybody wears a different set of compulsions. You can be maimed without warning, in body or in spirit, by a very nice guy. It is the luck of your draw. I did not feel like a nice guy."
- John D. MacDonald, The Quick Red Fox


A solid, early addition to the Travis McGee series. All the cynical, hard John D. MacDonald prose I could ask for. Part of what I love about MacDon
Maggie K
Jun 23, 2016 Maggie K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series-challenge
So far, Ive been quite taken with this series....McGee is a man who comes off as simple, but is anything but...and when he goes to the deep place you dive right in with him!
After the last 2 books, I was starting to see a little bit of a formula, and was concerned that as a series, McGee was going flat. But this installment was actually different and darker. Sordid is probably the best word.
Here, McGee reluctantly takes a job from a beautiful movie star to track down her blackmailer. Except he fe
THE QUICK RED FOX. (1964). John D. MacDonald. ***.
This started off as if it would be an exemplary Travis McGee novel, but started to fizzle out about two-thirds of the way through. The basic plot is that McGee is engaged by a film star to find out who was blackmailing her by threatening to expose her participation in a free-for-all orgy at a California hideaway. She was at the peak of her career and certainly couldn’t afford the negative impact of the release of these photos – especially when a
Cathy DuPont
Jul 21, 2013 Cathy DuPont rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My "go-to" place for everything Travis McGee is D.R. Martin's blog Me and Travis McGee.

When I discovered D.R.'s site, I had read the entire 21 book series twice so I wasn't (and didn't) worry about spoilers. But going through some of D.R.'s entries (a synopsis of each book) and related comments, I noticed that readers had a 'takeaway' from the books that I had never thought of and in all sincerity, rather shocked and frankly annoyed me.

There were some comments about Travis being a misogynist a
I finished The Quick Red Fox this morning during a quiet period at work.. shhhhhh, don't tell anyone.. ;0) I think this one was a bit grimmer in subject matter than the others, even though so far they are all have a bit of an edge to them. I do like McGee's character, he's thoughtful, cynical, old-fashioned, treats women with respect and tough. It's a series I will continue. I'm glad that I was introduced finally to such an excellent series.
Aug 22, 2013 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
This book written in the sixties has scattered nuggets of McGee's (or MacDonald's) philosophy. Trav says ' I get the feeling that this is the last time in history when the offbeats like me will have a chance to live free in the nooks and crannies of the huge and rigid structure of an increasingly codified society. Fifty years from now I would be hunted down in the street.'

Well fifty years have passed and I think McGee would be safe in the street, but he was right on the money about a codified so
Jan 19, 2016 Francis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have mixed feelings about John D. MacDonald. First, there is his prose. I don't as a habit underline passages in books. I often admire the words but I move on, to absorbed in the story to slow down. Sometimes with MacDonald though, I reread the passage, maybe even twice, then I think about highlighting the passage and then finally I move on. Later I might regret not having preserved a particular passage or two with a highlighter. I tip my hat. The man could write.

The mixed part begins and ends
Carla Remy
I liked this the least of the Travis McGee books so far (it's # 4). The mystery started intriguingly but ended convolutedly. it seemed slapped together. But how many books did the man write in 1964? I can forgive.
Apr 25, 2008 Andy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What I learned? Never turn your back on a homicidal nymphomaniacal 18-year-old from Iceland, especially if she's carrying a handbag with a murderously heavy stone rabbit inside.
May 29, 2015 wally rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: macdonald
26 may 15...#40 from macdonald for me, the 7th travis mcgee story. just finished Bright Orange For The Shroud. onward & upward

28 may 15
finished. good story...not great, good. why? maybe because there are a number of deaths, some related to the larger scheme of wrong, some not related, and in the end the antagonist makes a short sweet appearance, people get slapped with a rock rabbit, and the other dames in the story seem to follow suit. cue fleetwood mac. go your own way...lalalalala. some g
May 25, 2012 Checkman rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Travis McGee fans
My second Travis McGee book. The first one was The Dreadful Lemon Sky. This one wasn't that bad, but not as good as Lemon Sky. McGee is hired to track down a blackmailer by a Hollywood actress who participated in a four day orgy. There was no Meyer in this book and he was missed. Instead McGee is given the personal assistant to the actress to help him in his investigation. Of course they fall for each other. It's a little different in that their relationship is rather domestic and Dana (the lady ...more
May 21, 2016 Lynn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This time McGee refers to himself as 'the authentic man' and generally made me sad that he was a proud homophobic sexist pig. Since it was written in 1964, I expect this kind of bs and make allowances because these are good mysteries and the writing is great. I could have managed to look past the usual comments on the drudgery of the average schmuck's life in the suburbs (and his vastly superior life as an off-the-books opportunist and authentic man), if there was a good book to read, but not th ...more
May 21, 2016 Mark rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Average. McGee is hired by Lysa Dean, a Hollywood starlet who has been caught in some very compromising photos and is being blackmailed. McGee digs into the case, and finds a bit of murder among the other orgy partners. The murders tend to overshadow the blackmail plot line, and I found myself not caring so much about either by the end of it. I was more interested in the relationship between McGee and Dana, Lysa's personal assistant who is charged with assisting McGee on the search for the black ...more
Dennis D.
Sep 02, 2009 Dennis D. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this Travis McGee novel from 1964, number four in the series, seems a bit similar to a recent (1989) Jonathan Kellerman book, Silent Partner (Alex Delaware #4), coincidentally the fourth in that series. The McGee tale was first, of course. Maybe Kellerman is a fan?

Trav is off to Hollywood this time, trying to figure out who is blackmailing an A-list actress with some naughty orgy pics, before said pics are made public. I guess back then, naughty orgy pics weren’t the career-booster that the
May 23, 2013 Col rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013, m
From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Quick Red Fox is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.

She’s the opposite of a damsel in distress: a famous movie star, very beautiful, very much in control of her life. She’s just made one little mistake and now she needs Travis McGee to set it right. The money is good and Travis’s funds are in need of replenishing. But that’s not the only reason he takes the case. Ther
Nov 21, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
The fourth in the Travis McGee series, like the first three, released in 1964, The Quick Red Fox is a foray into the quickly-changing sexual mores of the 1960s. A very famous movie star is compromised by photos taken of her engaging in a three-day orgy. Trav needs to find out who's blackmailing her, and hopefully, recover some of the money for both of them. While McGee as a character throughout the series is happy to bed many broads, in each case it has to be something special and real, and he i ...more
Apr 06, 2009 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, fiction
This is the fourth book in John D. MacDonald's Travis McGee series. I liked it more than the first two books in the series, and about as much as the third. Like the third, A Purple Place for Dying, it's full of McGee's trite, long-winded philosophizing, but does contain some really great descriptions. For instance:

"By noon, in a gray February world, we had come down through snow flurries to land at Albany, and had taken off again. When the snow ended the sky was a luminous gray. I looked down at
Jeff Yoak
This is Travis McGee as I remember him. In starting this series over again, I thought it wasn't going to appeal to me. It turns out it just took a few novels for MacDonald to hit his stride.

The plot of the Quick Red Fox, like all the McGee novels is almost silly melodrama. The thing that makes these novels so captivating is the sense of time and place that MacDonald creates. I love the typical poetic musing. I love the characters... not just McGee, though he is wonderful. In this one, he creates
Sep 22, 2015 Pete rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another enjoyable Travis McGee read. A Scarlett Johansson type actress needs a bit of help after group sex session goes wrong. She wants to sweeten the deal by taking McGee to the bedroom. Trav turns her down because he needs more than the physical, he needs an emotional connection. Haha, only in a book. Using myself and Scarlett as an example, here's how that scene would go down in the real world with any single guy bordering on any guy:

Scarlett: "Pete darling, please come to my room and help m
Apr 01, 2015 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries, owned
Not a typical mystery. It took me a while to warm up to this plot but once I did, I found this fascinating and a bit sad.
Jim Thomas
Sep 21, 2016 Jim Thomas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2016
MacDonald's Travis McGee series is dated but solid. Always a pleasure to read. Some people forget the man wrote other books, his most famous twice made into a movie and best known is Cape Fear. The Travis McGee books including this good one is, for me, better than Spillane or Jim Thompson but not quite up to Hammett, Chandler or even his namesake without the capital D, Ross Macdonald (real name Kenneth Millar husband of author Margaret Millar who may have been better than he was). His descriptio ...more
Pete Hoetjes
Oct 15, 2015 Pete Hoetjes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
No spoilers review:

The fourth entry into John MacDonald's "Travis McGee" series finds the beach bum/salvage consultant/knight in slightly tarnished armor briefly enjoying his houseboat in Bahia Mar, Florida. Until however, a stern woman with a sympathetic past and a movie star a la Lindsey Lohan come asking him for help, whipping him away on a road trip across America, from Florida to upstate New York to Las Vegas.

Like most McGee novels, this one begins in sunny southern Florida, in a cool Febru
Sep 19, 2016 Susie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many of you might not know that my favorite fictional hero, Jack Reacher, was inspired by Travis McGee, John D. MacDonald's famous lounge-about private-detective-but-not-really who lives on a boat in Ft. Lauderdale and solves problems people bring him. He takes half the cash he recovers and lives off it until he needs more cash, then he's back in business again. In between cases, he lives on a boat he won in a poker game, drinks a bit too much and enjoys the ladies.

You're probably thinking "Susi
Oct 24, 2014 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Fox” is one of the early Travis McGee tales – #4 of 21; and we found it typical but sufficiently entertaining. Our hero is hired by a Hollywood star to recover blackmail photos of her participating in a 4-day orgy featuring lots of drinking and lots of sex, going “both ways”, no doubt a racier theme when published in 1964 than perhaps now. {The mention of Travis’ new toys of Acoustic Research speakers, and Fisher and Scott stereo components, was mildly nostalgic – we ourselves had much the same ...more
Charles Adkinson
Feb 11, 2016 Charles Adkinson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
McGee #4. The least harrowing of the McGees so far, in my opinion, but still very enjoyable. This was the first one where he seemed to just be all over the map (literally) in terms of setting, buzzing around Florida and then jetting off to NY and California before ending up in Las Vegas and finally Phoenix.

The focus was less on the murders and the blackmail, and much more I felt on the development of McGee himself as a character. The mystery in this book is three star-worthy at best, but the st
Brian Glass
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Harv Griffin
Oct 22, 2012 Harv Griffin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, own
Not my favorite Travis McGee novel. I own them all. I've re-read this one at least twice. Even the worst McGee novel is a better read for me than most of what I try to read. The two literary characters that have influenced me and actually changed my life: Howard Roark & Travis McGee. The closest thing I have to a potentially influential literary character would be my Courtney Foulke Ryan. @hg47
Aug 07, 2011 William rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first book I've read by this author. It was interesting enough to want to read another of his books but nothing to rave about. The story had an interesting premise and the author showed good writing skills especially in describing his characters and how they were feeling and thinking. The end, however, fell short of my expectations compared to the reviews this author had received.
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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)
  • 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)
  • Dress Her in Indigo (Travis McGee #11)

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“This was not some pretty little girl, coyly flirtatious, delicately stimulated. This was the mature female of the species, vivid, handsome and strong demanding that all the life within her be matched. Her instinct would detect any hedging, any dishonesty, any less than complete response to her - and then she would be gone for good.” 10 likes
“By noon, in a gray February world, we had come down through snow flurries to land at Albany, and had taken off again. When the snow ended the sky was a luminous gray. I looked down at the winter calligraphy of upstate New York, white fields marked off by the black woodlots, an etching without color, superbly restful in contrast to the smoky, guttering, grinding stink of the airplane clattering across the sky like an old commuter bus.” 7 likes
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