Feb 21, 2020
The Scarlet Ruse
Posted by John D. MacDonald

Travis McGee is too busy with his houseboat to pay attention to the little old man with the missing postage stamps Except these are no ordinary stamps They are rare stamps Four hundred thousand dollars worth of rare And if McGee doesn t recognize their value, perhaps Mary Alice McDermit does, a six foot knockout who knows all the ways to a boat bum s heart Only it s nTravis McGee is too busy with his houseboat to pay attention to the little old man with the missing postage stamps Except these are no ordinary stamps They are rare stamps Four hundred thousand dollars worth of rare And if McGee doesn t recognize their value, perhaps Mary Alice McDermit does, a six foot knockout who knows all the ways to a boat bum s heart Only it s not McGee s heart that s in danger Because a syndicate killer has put a contract on McGee A killer who knows something about stamps and even about McGee.

  • Title: The Scarlet Ruse
  • Author: John D. MacDonald
  • ISBN: 9780449027448
  • Page: 245
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Scarlet Ruse Travis McGee is too busy with his houseboat to pay attention to the little old man with the missing postage stamps Except these are no ordinary stamps They are rare stamps Four hundred thousand dollar


    Thanks to this one and Lawrence Block s Keller series, I know about philately then I ever thought I would.Travis McGee is coming off of one of his periodic retirements and looking for a new salvage gig in which he ll try to recover items that people were scammed out of for half their value His client this time is a stamp dealer named Hirsh who puts together collections for people looking to use them as investments Hirsh had been working with Frank Sprenger who is well connected to the kind of p [...]


    It s always better when you don t have to give a damn John D MacDonald, The Scarlet RuseIf Philatelic Beach Noir is your gig, this book is for you I guess in the age 1972 before block chain technology and Bitcoins, stamps seem a very likely avenue for moving large amounts of money from one country to the next MacDonald flushes this idea out and weaves into it the Mob, women, and Meyer a trusty economist friend MacDonald is hanging out in Florida, which usually is my favorite setting for the owne [...]


    Travis McGee is a salvage expert Here s how it works in his words I try to recover items of value which have been lost and which cannot be found by any other means If I decide to help you, I will risk my time and expenses If I make a recovery of all or part of what you have lost, we take my expenses off the top and split the remainder down the middle His friend and houseboat neighbor Meyer is a doctor of economics and had the renaissance curiosity of Freakonomics 30 years before Freakonmics was [...]


    I must admit that I actually do not remember all that much specific detail with regard to this Travis McGee adventure except that because once again, in John D MacDonald s The Scarlet Ruse, there is not enough of McGee s sidekick and best friend Meyer present and extant at least for me personally , I rather quickly began to lose interest and become somewhat bored and distracted For it is really and truly the case with basically ALL of the Travis McGee novels I have read to date, that while I to [...]

    Debbie Zapata

    Number 14 in the Travis McGee series the third such book I ve read, and the last one available at the public library in Arizona I will certainly have to check the shelves when I go back for a couple of weeks in May This story was a bit unusual for me because it dealt with stamp collecting You don t see that hobby in many books outside of the field itself But I had fun reading because I used to collect stamps so I was not as confused by some of the terminology as a person who had never collected [...]

    JoAnna Spring

    Engaging, fun summer read Meyer the hairy economist philosopher has an old friend that is, the friend is an old man who manages fancy stamp collections An big book of expensive rare stamps being managed for a mob guy has been mysteriously replaced with a big book of worthless stamps Trav takes the case, hooks up with an interesting chick, and figures it all out It was written in 73 and I am sad at how far it seems we haven t come Meyer made one of his surveys of the elderly couple in the Fort La [...]


    I love the Travis McGee series I am reading them in order, slowly, and savoring them as I m all too aware how finite the series is but this one felt a little flat to me I m not sure why especially because the few prior were really superb Or maybe because of that THE SCARLET RUSE offers, as many of the books do, insights into a slightly arcane subject matter area where we ve prior learned about, say, real estate financing, this time it s the world of very rare stamp investing The novel also sees [...]


    The busted Flush is threatened with eviction from Bahia Mar, but it turn out to be a ruse heh, heh.The story revolves around mobsters, stamp collecting and investments In the middle of the book, there is the standard line of live and let live philosophy But McGee is starting to sound like Spicolli, Good waves and some tasty bud, dude The second half of the novel turns interesting with an atypical, snarling, sociopathic female, that plays McGee all to well Of course, she has to die This book reli [...]

    Jerry B

    Scarlet Ruse is one of the later 14 of 21 novels in MacDonald s famous Travis McGee series, into which we dabble now and then for relief from our heavier fare This one seemed to appeal a little than some, as how a scam involving rare stamp collectibles was orchestrated generated a fair degree of suspense and surprise Travis is hired to salvage some sort of a switch involving similar but worthless stamps for valuable ones, when seemingly the only possible perp s were the two long time loyal fema [...]


    THE SCARLET RUSE 1973 John D MacDonald .As you probably know, Travis McGee is in the salvage business If you lose something that you can t otherwise get back, he will find it for you and take, as commission, 50% of the value of what he recovers His friend Meyer came to him and let him know that a friend of his needed his help Meyer s friend was a stamp dealer who was working with a client on a collection of investment stamps His client was probably a member of the syndicate who wanted to hedge h [...]


    The book began very dramatically the powers that be in Ft Lauderdale passed a resolution banning permanent habitation on boats Oh, no Meyer and Travis are going to be booted off their boats or will have to find a new place to dock Given the huge role played by the ocean and the various boats in this series, this seemed like a major story line in the making How were Travis and Meyer going to get out of this What was going to happen to the Busted Flush I was hooked Too bad the matter was barely me [...]


    It was scary good So, far this series is my fifth all time favorite of Travis McGee s mystery adventure She was so cunning, and a sly as a fox to used men just to get her own end Taking advantage a trusting old man Fedderman, and exploiting his collectibles rare stamps that are worth four hundred thousand dollars Execute her friend Jane Lawson, and set up McGee and Sprenger to dispatch each other Mary Alice McDermit, was the most hazardous syndicate killer, but Travis McGee knows a devious woman [...]


    I loved this one I m getting hooked on John D MacDonald and Travis McGee, but this one seemed especially poignant to me I loved the way Travis let himself get taken in by Mary Alice, written so brilliantly to capture him and sucker the one guy who is so hard to fool I loved just how battered he was at the end of this one, how thoroughly he paid for letting himself get taken.


    8 jun 15 46 from macdonald for me, the 15th travis mcgee story just finished One Fearful Yellow Eye, an excellent 5 star story i ve noted in the last few stories that the bad guy isn t on the main stage muchbut in the lasts and no.15 jun 15i m back now i am reading this one, having completed A Tan and Sandy Silence18 jun 15finished good story i liked it was not as impressed with this story s wind up as i am impressed with some of the other macdonald stories don t know why, but a time or two i wa [...]


    Among Travis s small circle of friends is Meyer, a brilliant economist who, like Travis, lives on the water His modest floating domain is appropriately named The John Maynard Keynes Meyer exudes a rabbinical wisdom, passionate outrage over injustice and, being Travis s friend, he is not afraid to pull up his shirt sleeves and get a bit dirty That same loyalty provokes him to seek Travis s help on behalf of an old friend, Hirsh Fedderman, an elderly philatelist and dealer Fedderman purchases stam [...]


    A page turner by an excellent writer A writer who can make stamp collecting excitingtually it was about investing in very expensive, unique, stamps from around the world Buy and hold, then sell for six figures But what happens when the costly stamps are somehow replaced with fakes Now this is where Travis McGee enters and tries to find and recover them There is a story behind the story here.


    The Scarlet Ruse is the fourteenth novel in the 21 book Travis McGee series and was first published in 1972, following 1971 s A Tan and Sandy Silence It is a terrific mystery story and, in some ways, far detailed than other McGee novels McGee, if you are not familiar with his world, lives on a 52 foot houseboat, The Busted Flush, which he had won in a poker game He basically loafs around on the water, indulging in wine, women, fishing, and card games in the waters off Fort Lauderdale Every once [...]


    Poor T McGee After a six month installment of his periodic retirement, he s inexplicably in the doldrums, feeling joyless and anxious and he s getting low on funds Also, a new city ordinance is threatening to break up the eccentric community of permanent boat dwellers in the Bahia Mar marina he calls home However, helpful Meyer brings him a new salvage job, helping professional philatelist Hirsh Fedderman recover a valuable stamp collection that, almost impossibly, has been replaced by near wort [...]

    Mackenzie Brown

    At the time of writing this book the author was at the height of his illustrious powers In addition, he knew the characters so well that when a reader picked up a new McGee adventure he or she knew what to expect quite simply the best of the genre In this book our hero helps a friend of Meyer wriggle out from certain ruin and clashes with a ruthless, mob connected fellow Well written, fabulously plotted and filled to the brim with great insights about life Could not be recommended .


    John D Macdonald is quickly becoming my favorite pulp mystery writer Sure, he invites you in with some cheap sex bit But at least he makes you wait till chapter 4 to learn who the dame is Macdonald does this stuff right So many other writers of this genre get totally lost in the imagery of the women.


    Travis McGee is not god But he is superhuman This is not the best Travis McGee mystery I ve read, which makes it merely awesome Plus you learn about stamp collecting Without giving too much awayI ve already said too much Read it


    One of the best in the series, as McGee gets involved with mobsters, stamp collectors and a tall, buxom Bad Girl who nearly gets him killed And an elderly but formidable woman named Miss Moojah, whose skill with a toy baseball bat is the stuff of legend.


    Jerry B

    Scarlet Ruse is one of the later 14 of 21 entries in MacDonald s famous Travis McGee series, in which we dabble from time to time as a relief from our heavier reading fare This one was particularly fun, featuring a scam involving rare stamp collectibles, and a devious plot to substitute worthless stamps for valuable ones, with the only improbable suspects being the owner s two long time loyal employees That the apparent swap took place within a safety deposit vault only added to the suspense and [...]

    Henri Moreaux

    After being a bit disappointed with the last book in the series, Tan and Sandy Silence, I was immensely pleased to see MacDonald is back on form here in The Scarlet Ruse A good mystery, organised crime, stamp collecting and murders what could you want The plot moves along methodically and logically keeping you interested and trying to guess whose responsible, then when you think you ve got it all worked out another leaf unfolds changing things substantially.The ending was a bit sombre than usu [...]


    Very difficult for young people these days Or any days In what golden epoch was being a teenager a constant joy There has always been a generation gap It is called twenty years Too much talk about unresponsive government, irrelevant education Maybe the real point is that young lives have no accepted focal point The tribe gives no responsibilities, no earned privileges, no ceremonial place In the family unit they do not fit into a gap between generations, because the generations are diffused Mayb [...]

    A.J. Adams

    There are no bad John D MacDonald novels but this one is one of his best Clever, nasty and subtle, it has a plot that will have you reeling Really, if you ve never read this classic crime author, check this one out.


    Not the best Travis McGee by any stretch Too much stamp trivia, no appealing women, and a hard, hard ending The waxing philosophical I enjoy so much from McDonald was in short supply here as well Still, it s better than 90% of today s detective fiction.

    Paul J. Petersen

    Always a good readFinished on a long rainy Saturday on Kiawah, 05 13 17 More introspective than some previous books, but as usual another good mystery.

    John Yelverton

    I actually did not enjoy this mystery It s starts off well enough, but the mystery is given up halfway through, and then it just bides its time until the very unsatisfactory ending.

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