Sunday, July 17, 2016

MacDonald’s Century: Standalone Standouts

We’re now halfway through Killer Covers’ two-week-long tribute to author John D. MacDonald, timed to the rapidly approaching centennial of that Florida author’s birth (on July 24, 1916). Let’s just take a brief break to hear from veteran crime novelist and editor Ed Gorman, who was once lucky enough to interview MacDonald and, in the Winter 2013 issue of Mystery Scene magazine, listed 10 of his favorite MacDonald novels, as follows:

Dead Low Tide (1953)
Soft Touch (1958)
Deadly Welcome (1958)
Murder in the Wind (1956)
The Executioners (1958)
Slam the Big Door (1960)
The End of the Night (1960)
A Key to the Suite (1962)
A Flash of Green (1962)
The Drowner (1963)

Gorman offers his comments on each of these works in Mystery Scene, so if you’re interested in learning more about MacDonald’s oeuvre, by all means check out that three-year-old piece.

Note, too, that none of the 10 titles listed above comes from MacDonald’s famous series—which began with 1964’s The Deep Blue Good-by. As Gorman explains in the magazine, “I enjoyed the Travis McGees but always felt that they were inferior to his non-series work. They made [MacDonald] rich and brought him fame, but I often sensed that he wished he was still writing books such as Dead Low Tide and The End of the Night. Those early Gold Medals and Dells were some of the best crime novels of his generation.”

1 comment:

Art Taylor said...

I still have Ed's article on the bookshelf here on my office, pointing me toward some of these books I still need to read. I was a huge Travis McGee fan, but I'll admit read few of the standalones. It was a great piece in Mystery Scene and glad you gave it a shout-out here.