Book info

The Long Lavender Look (1996)

The Long Lavender Look (1996)
Rating
4.12 of 5 Votes: 1
ISBN
0449224740 (ISBN13: 9780449224748)
languge
English
series
genre
publisher
fawcett
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The Long Lavender Look (1996)
The Long Lavender Look (1996)

About book: 1 jun 15#43 from macdonald for me, travis mcgee #12...though i think this is the 9th or 10th mcgee story for me. trying to read them sequentially but i just finished Pale Gray For Guilt and the next in line is not available yet. 'til then, this.onward & upward.3 jun 15finished. good story. mcgee isn't trying to recover money for another in this one, although there is a vast sum of money involved, the armored car robbery loot. and this is another...i think the last i read was the same way...in that the "bad man" is not on stage for much. there are a number of stories at play, macdonald had mcgee use the analogy of the planet pluto and how that planet was discovered...things acting like something else was there, though unknown...'til it was known. same here. death comes easy to so many in these mcgee stories. there are a multitude of characters whose motivations and choices are influenced by factors known and unknown. so. good read. story beginslast april. ten o'clock at night. hustling south on florida 12 through the eastern section of cypress county, about twenty miles from the intersection of 112 and the tamiami trail.so maybe i was pushing old miss agnes along a little too fast. narrow macadam. stars above, and some wisps of ground mist below. but not much of it, and not often.time place scene setting* story opens late april, (April 23/24) ten o'clock at night florida highway 112, eastern section of cypress county, 20 miles from the intersection of 112 and the tamiami trail* miss agnes, travis's 30s model rolls royce, converted to a truck by another, now owned by travis, called miss agenes after a teacher he had as a child* travis's friend's fish camp on lake passkokee* the intersection of 112 and the tamiami trail, big service station and garage* cypress county jailhouse, cell #12 for travis, meyer in another* cypress city* white ibis motor inn...where travis stays, unit #114...meyer exits to the hospital* mrs. teffer's live oak lode and dining room, where all eat * johnny's main street service, where miss agnes is brought* a red plastic national franchise selling the best sandwiches anytime anywhere* the cypress call and journal (newspaper) offices, a cement block building on princeton street, cypress city* frank baither's residence on state road 72* cora arnstead's residence, 3880 cattleman's road, where lew, her son, also stays* the adventurer, a bar* sinkhole west on county line road* woodgate shopping center* betsy kapp's place on seminole street* emergecny room at city memorial hospital, cypress city, florida* an all-night drive-in* kramer home building supply headquarters, mile and a half out of town on airport road* a grove behind bernie's* cypress county gov't offices...land maps, property, so forth so on, clerk's office* a shack on property owned now by lew arnsteadcharacters major* travis mcgee, our hero, 1st-person narrator* meyer, his friend, neighbor, economist* a girl who runs in front of travis's car, "lilo", lillian hatch, she was the first baby of wanda and johnny hatch, second was ronnie, and then there was one that died* cypress county sheriff norman "norm" l. hyzer* frank baither...killed...story opens, recently released from raiford state prison* deputy lewis b. "lew" arnstead, our villian, beats meyer in jail, the number one stud in cypress county* leonard "lennie" sibelius, miami attorney travis calls for helpminor characters, w/name, no name, setting scene characters* an old friend of travis, jimmy ames* betsy, his eldest daughter, to whose wedding travis and meyer attended. they are returning to lauderdale* gnomes, meyer's dream* scientists* driver of a sedan, ohio license* a burly figure at the wheel* orville...hutch...two names the burly figure uses* al storey, manager of the big service station* terrance "terry" moon, worker at al's service station* a sheriff's deputy...who takes the accident report, officer "beef" nagle* henry, another work at al's service station* hummer, a customer of al's* a sheriff deputy driving sheriff hyzer* johnny's main street service...wrecker that pulls miss agnes from 10' of swamp water side of the road* a fat elderly deputy, billy cable* a very large deputy sat on another straight chair* possibly king sturnevan, who witnesses interrogation of travis by hyzer, and he is also a former boxer/fighter known to travis as such. he is orginally from nutley, new jersey* pritchard monitoring tape (interrogation)* county medical examiner* "priskie" priskitt, another deputy...this one in charge of the cells/prisoners* a great big cuban boy, tigre...king strunevan fought, travis saw* nat's book...that king wants to look in, see the last name of that cuban kid he fought* the county commission* a quiet little man...travis was on stakeout with him* the people they were covering* the operator...for a person-to-person collect call* annie carmichael, leonard sibelius's secretary* guests...of leonard sibelius on the witchcraft, his boat* a pair of blonde twins slathering oil on each other, among them* wes...leonard will have wes take the party out while he makes some calls* "charlie"...imaginary character of mcgee's mind* a trusty who had been sent to get travis's meal in jail* a woman from michigan who hyzer married...they both were teachers in rochester, new york* hyzer's mother* hyzer's infant baby daughter. hyzer's wife and daugther were both killed in a car pedestrian accident* a couple of miami kids in a stolen car* pistol-shipped the clerk* a cop cruiser who gave chase* three clowns who had truck duty...to do with the past, an armored car robbery that provides background to the story* the people in the money room...at the racetrack* the police had turned up a few people who had seen* a man in the kitchen and a girl working the counter...where the three clowns were slipped something* they'd have a second girl car-hopping* a girl and three men had hit the drive-in a half hour before the money-truck people walked in* she thought there might be a fourth man on watch* houseguest...female...frank baither* circuit court judge sentenced frank baither to five years for armed robbery...frank's doing, so he'd be 'safe' from whom-so-ever* an uncle for whom frank worked as a kid, concrete, developed muscles* a few latin americans there...frank cultivated, learned spanish* a woman in her own bed (story from meyer...fate)* hard-case types the miami herald would send* the other woman (a case handled by leonard)* heir to a pulp mill & timberlands fortune* who shot and killed his insomniac wife* a redheaded boy in greasy khakis (airport)* a woman at the desk with instant, trained, formal politeness* an old man sat in the small office, reading a true-crime magazine (at johnny's main street service), probably john hatch* a large young man about nineeen (same place), ron hatch...and he is related to the girl who dashed in front of travis's car on the dark road* his father is johnny hatch, who owns johnny's main street service, and john/johnny hatch is also the father of lillian "lilo" hatch, the girl who ran in front of travis's car...he had married wanda, a trashy girl from miami, and after divorcing her, she married henry perris ans johnny married again, couple more babies* a drab, muttering woman (who serves the best sandwiches anywhere)* foster goss, managing editor of the cypress call & journal* a couple of hefty women pecking vintage typewriters* a crickety octogenarian on the copy desk* a couple of slack young men murmuring into phones* a mini-girl got up* county judge stan bowley* foster goss's 17-year-old daugther married to a supermarket bag boy* foster goss's 12-year-old spastic son* a very very british lady on lennie's staff* three arnsteads in phone book, j.a., and henry t. and cora* cora arnstead, lew arnstead's mother* buttercup, cora's big dog* lew arnstead was going with the willoughbee girl, clara willoughbee* jason was cora's first, henry her second, and then 16 long years later she had lew* jason is 43 now, married 24 years, their first is a girl married at 16, great-grandson of cora, near six years old* a lot of cheap, bright-smelling, loud-voice women...lew* trash like them perrises, the wife is bedridden, the father was seen porking some girl in the next room* the baby...mentioned in a note in lew arnstead's secret stash* frannie, name mentioned in another note* lilo's (or lillian) mother and father* roddy barramore* rhoda...name used in the perris story by betsy* betsy kapp...writer of a note found by travis in lew arnstead's secret stash. divorced, works hostess in the dining room live oak lodge* various photos, polaroids, of bare-naked women in lew's stash...thirteen different females, 18-32* wanda, woman john hatch married, turned out to be trashy* henry perris, a good mechanic who worked for johnny hatch when he wasn't porking wanda, johnny's trashy wife. after johnny gave wanda the boot, henry married her* a fellow johnny hatch brought in to get the goods on wanda/henry* some extraordinarily cruel men in the primitive areas of india* purchase children* people at the adventurer bar, the obligatory birdcage girl dancing, high school kids, ranch hands, packing-house workers, single swingers, married couples, bank clerks and secretaries and young realtors, carpenters and plumber, electricians and hard-wall plasterers, dentists, soldiers sailors, hospital technicians nurses bag boys store clerks and a handful of customary predators, middle-aged men in youthful clothing* two quiet men...picked the right one (disturbance at bar)* family celebration (lodge dining room), middle-aged males, a fresh-faced girl and her blushing husband-to-be, two quiet couples, three burly businessmen* betsy kapp is from winter haven, here in cypress city when she was 12 to stay with an aunt* betsy married a boy, killed in a terrible automobile accident, donny, donny's parents* gregg kapp, betsy married after this, divorced now* frank the bartender, at the lodge dining room where betsy kapp works tables and hostess* helen, another waitress works with betsy kapp* people sat in their dimly lighted rooms, hosts and hostesses (tv)* raoul, betsy kapp's cat* a gentleman friend of betsy kapp* forney baither, one rotten baither boy in junior high with betsy kapp...killed in vietnam years ago* a talented lady...defined poetry as a make-believe garden containing a real toad* doctor grinner...gave betsy kapp a prescription* mr. kaufman down the street (neighbor ob betsy kapp)* a fat lady in red pants knelt three front yards away, troweling in her weeds* some fat children were wallowing and whooping in the pool* a dispatcher* a crank caller, said he lives on haydon street* homer...doing a new brochure for the chamber of commerce* two gentle maidens about the john meynard keyes with meyer* a very somber young man in orange garments (golf on tv)* the silverstaff boy from up the road* a pair of strangers behind the high desk (jailhouse)* communications clerk* some bloody, broken moaning teenagers* billy cable's wife and three children* big table of teenagers, whispering, haw-hawing at delicious private nonsense* a few night people spaced along* the waitress was a plump, pretty girl, dori, part of deputy lew arnstead's stable of women* dori's husband, in service at one time, fred* a variety of men lew arranges to have paid sex with dori severiss, others* carolyn...dori's immediate boss, supervisor* judge o'harran...one of dori's dates* dori's wonderful crazy girlfriend, who signed on without blackmail or coercion* mrs garnor...where dori initially worked, skimmed money* five clerks...who fell under suspicion at garnor's boutique at woodsgate shopping center* the credit people* hired captain and three sort of vice-president-type people...more dates with dori and others* donna lee...one of 14 polaroids that dori identifies for travis...another woman in lew's stable* brenda dennis, another, dennison? denderson?* miss geraldine kimmy...teaches third grade, another, got in a bind by groping some little kid* linda featherman...another...died in vehicle accident* jeannie dahl, #10, married and divorced, lives with mother, little kid, davie, lousy ex* #11 was unknown, 12 was somebody she'd seen around town* a spook...one of dori's dates* immigration officer in miami...girls...kid sister...old man from peru* dale featherman...rich daddy of linda featherman* four generations of florida mone, and senators from washington and banker fro new york* three brothers and sisters of linda featherman* old men were browsing through the hand tools* two middle-aged women and one young one behind the waist-high fence* mr frandel...at the home building supply* miguel...a past friend of travis...deceased, taught him how to throw a knife* no australian among the eight men and three women spectators* hullinger, reiter, rench, dowd, albritton, eggert, alderman, jenkins, hyatt, mccroan, featherman...names in the clerk's registry of property* the spectacled girl* stane, murrity, floyd, garrison, perris...names on mailboxes* a successful film actress...exudes a degree of psychic musk* a pretty lady who came aboard the busted flush with her ocelot* two men with frank, biloxi, took a casino...two others. hutchason and orville* nulia...takes care of henry perris's home, wife, bedridden, black woman* johnny's attorney* two bleached boys in bucket seats, three limber, noisy, bikinied young girls...tommy, bunny lee, norma jean a few of their names...old dolores...someone they know* red...a sheriff's office employee* cheery gray lady...nurse, hospital* doctor* heidi geis trumbill...at the end...at the busted flush, a woman from travis's pastreal people, famous, fictionally famous, so forth so on* arnold palmer* floyd patterson* alice (in wonderland)* sherman (civil war)* custer* beatles* jesus christ* sibelius, belli, foreman, bailey...both fictional story character and real people, not sure about belli and foreman, hired gladiators* lord god* jesus q. christ* doris day* alexander botts, scattergood baines, tugboat annie* mr phelps (mission impossible, tv show?), half brother of kataynzia dictator)* barney, paris...tv characters i think barney fife? paris? who is spock only paris on mission impossible* cinnamon...another?* chief ironsides...television character* marshall dillon (gunsmoke tv show)* dan'l boone* andy (probably means andy griffith, sheriff, mayberry r.f.d.)* tarzan, sir galahad, robin hood, ben casey, cap'n ahab, the shadow, peter rabbit* mr bonfa (music)* maria toledo (portuguese singer?)* alfred hitchcock* myrna loy...william powell* liz taylor* burroughs, as in accounting machine* montovani...piped music* judas...as in goat* mona lisa

In one of the Travis McGee books, he and his best buddy Meyer are out fishing when someone dumps a woman off a bridge in front of them, and this gets them mixed up with a bunch of criminals. In this one, a woman runs across the road which causes them to wreck and gets them involved in more murderous mayhem. These guys are like magnets for women randomly appearing and causing shit storms.McGee and Meyer are driving home on a Florida back country road late at night after attending a wedding. Suddenly, a half naked woman runs in front of the car and they end up in a canal. There’s no sign of the girl so they start hiking only to be shot at by a passing pick-up. When they finally reach a gas stations, they’re immediately arrested for the murder of a man named Frank Baither, and Meyer gets the shit beaten out of him by one of the deputies while in police custody.And you thought you were having a bad day.Pretty typical McGee with the self-described salvage consultant getting mixed up in a mess of small town murder and secrets involving the loot from a heist. As usual, we’re treated to McGee’s musings on life and people as well as some horribly dated stuff regarding sex and women. Since this one involves one character blackmailing several women into acting as whores, we also get McGee’s thoughts on prostitution. It's not pretty.Unfortunately, this one also sags a bit in the mystery department too. MacDonald got a little too cute for his own good with murder after murder and trying to figure out who killed who as well as enough small town scandals to keep the fellas at the barber shop gossiping for years. This results in the whole initial mystery coming undone in the last act and left me scratching my head. (view spoiler)[ Initially Lilo Paris tells Travis that she was with Frank Baither when the two guys came after him to make him tell where the loot was. Somehow she ended up fleeing from them and ran in front Travis’s headlights to show them that she was not Frank so that they would quit chasing her. Baither later takes a shot at McGee and Meyer after mistaking them for these two men.Yet later we find out that it was actually Lilo who tortured and killed Frank to find out where the money was, and that she had lured the two other men to their deaths. So if Lilo killed Frank and had already offed the two guys who were supposedly after both of them, why would she be out on the road and running in front of Travis’s truck? Keep wondering because it doesn’t get explained.And what the hell ever happens to poor Raoul the cat? McGee takes him in at the end after Betsy Kapp has been murdered, but he doesn’t have a cat in any other of the following books. There’s probably a joke to be had somewhere in there with McGee and pussy cats, but I’m not going there. (hide spoiler)]
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Reviews
Harv Griffin
This puppy is my favorite Travis McGee novel; and it’s a good reminder to you that the Bad Guys out to kill you can belong to any profession and/or any sex.THE LONG LAVENDER LOOK is also a good reminder to me that connections, powerful friends in high places, are part of the equation that allows McGee to survive; and may be necessary for me to prosper as a writer.In my opinion, John D. was at the absolute top of his game when he wrote this. ©1970. I think he peaked with this one. That’s just me. Some of what John D. MacDonald writes is not politically correct according to 2012 standards. I don’t care; I’m willing to cut the guy forty-two years of slack. Travis is speeding along a Southern back-road at night in his old bastard Rolls Royce pickup with his best friend Meyer, when a woman runs across the road. Trav swerves to avoid hitting her, and his Rolls stops upside down underwater in a ditch. Meyer pulls Travis out, saving his life. They walk back toward the nearest town, but a guy in the first car to come along starts shooting at them. Eventually, Travis & Meyer get to a town, where they are both promptly arrested for premeditated murder. I love the opening, I love the part where Travis is locked up in jail by a Southern Sheriff (the absolute last place any of us would want to be), but most of all I love the part later where Travis brings a knife to a gunfight. Enjoy! @hg47
Brett
I'm a major fan of the McGee series. Although this one starts ominously and ends with the typical showdown scenario, in between we have entirely too many suspects, too many dead bodies and way, way too many bad guys. The overabundance of characters and backstory makes for an atypically convoluted plot; many of the familiar McDonald tropes are here (and Robert Petkoff's audiobook narration is first-rate, as always), but I found this one terribly hard to follow and among the very weakest in the series.
Jenna
I'm considering myself lucky to be among the many readers savoring the "Travis McGee" adventures, and can't wait to read another exploit of his....... a salvage consultant philosopher McGee was just full of toughness, skill, and sensible character that'll keep you on the edge.McGee was heading home with his best friend an Economist Meyer after attending a friend's wedding in Cypress County with "Miss Agness" ( an ancient rolls-royce car converted into a pick up)suddenly a young woman run into Miss Agnes on a highway. While Travis was trying to avert Miss Agness so not to hit the young lady they ended up to a deep swamp.As they walked for help in the middle of the night some car stop and they got shot at, and in the morning ended up in jail framed-up for killing some guy during the night. McGee, as a salvage operator he has to give up some of his fortune this time to save his life, and Meyer's.
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