I came across this fine tribute website to John D. MacDonald, the writer of many crime/mystery novels, most of which were set in the area around Florida, the Bahamas and Caribbean. If you have not come across his writings, which are a sort of mixture of Lee Child, with a twist of Raymond Chandler, a shot of Ian Fleming, a light coating of Eric Ambler and a tincture of Robert Parker, then you should correct that oversight. One thing I love about these old 1950s and 1960s novels is the artwork on the covers. I love those “pulp” covers with pictures of hot dames, tough private eyes, guns, boats, gambling cards with smudges of coffee or whiskey on them. There is a whole genre of design and artwork that went into making these covers that deserves more credit than it usually gets.
Even today, the MacDonald books, especially his Travis McGee stories, which later got a hilarious echo in the crime capers – also set in southern Florida – of Karl Hiaasen – read as freshly and sharply today as when they were first written. Reading them makes me want to jump on a plane and head on down south for a spot of marlin fishing off the Keys. Bliss.