Sunday, August 26, 2007

Scarlet Ruse

Scarlet Ruse

John D. MacDonald

Date: 09 March, 1996   —   $7.50   —   Book

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Fiction, Mystery

Travis McGee, taking his retirement in installments, has a slight problem when the city plans to ban houseboat living. (This is a situation that occurs again and again in the increasingly few places where houseboats are still allowed.) To take his mind off his troubles, he lets a friend talk him into hearing the problem of a philatelist. A philatelist is one who collects stamps, and this one is a known broker of exceedingly rare and precious stamps.

The problem is that a collection of stamps for a particular buyer has been stolen— or, more accurately, swapped— and if it cannot be recoverred, he'll have to reimburse his client the full value, an amount that would cause him to liquidate his business. What's worse is that the book was taken from under the noses of a bank that records its vault visits, and the client in question never handled the stamps himself.

So McGee investigates, and his search will take him into the path of syndicates, killers, and a dangerous woman who is all too self-centered. Because in pre-Miami Vice days, you had to have some kind of hardboiled action in Florida...

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