MacDonald, John D. (John Dann) (1916-1986)
The Last One Left. Doubleday, 1967. 369 pages
Murder at sea. No survivors. No evidence. No reason not to be $800,000 richer. Crissy Harkinson knew all about the cash that had left the Gold Coast of Florida, headed for the Bahamas on board a pleasure boat. It was Texas money...unrecorded, intended as a bribe. And then there was enough of it to change a dozen lives. Or end them.
Travis McGee series:
Travis McGee lives on a custom-made 52-foot barge-type houseboat dubbed The Busted Flush (after the poker hand, in memory of the game enabling him to win it), docked at Slip F-18 at Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Only the books that seem to have a significant nautical element are listed here.
The Deep Blue Good-by. Fawcett, 1964. 252 pages
Book 1 - Begins and ends aboard the BUSTED FLUSH, McGee's 52-foot houseboat. Quite a bit of on-the-water action. McGee chases a bad guy through Florida in search of a fortune in jewels.
Bright Orange for the Shroud. Fawcett, 1965. 190 pages
Book 6 - Set in Florida, with McGee sailing his houseboat to where the baddies live. Lots of nautical by-play, including an on-the-water climax. McGee breaks up a vicious marry-for-money con game.
Darker Than Amber. Fawcett, 1966. 190 pages
Book 7 - Set in Florida and the Caribbean. Not much boating, although a good fraction takes place on a cruise ship. McGee breaks up another con game, this one with murderous twist.
Pale Gray for Guilt. Lippincott, 1968. 240 pages
Book 9 - Set in Florida. Lots of floating in this one, McGee goes to visit an old football friend, only to find that he killed himself in an implausible manner. One of the best McGee novels, some say.
A Tan and Sandy Silence. Lippincott, 1971. 261 pages
Book 13 - Set in Florida and the Caribbean as McGee follows the trail of a missing lady friend to the island of Grenada, where he discovers a stranger posing as his friend and an intricate, murderous con game. Quite a bit of boating and a very wet climax.
The Scarlet Ruse. Lippincott, 1973. 262 pages
Book 14 - The one about stamp collecting. Set in Florida, with plenty of boats (and a description of a very dangerous way to end a water-skiing session).
The Turquoise Lament. Lippincott, 1973. 287 pages
Book 15 - Set in Hawaii and Tahiti, with boat-related flashbacks to Florida and Mexico. McGee tries to convince a friend's daughter that her new husband isn't really trying to kill her.
The Dreadful Lemon Sky. Lippincott, 1974. 228 pages
Book 16 - Set in Florida. McGee stays on the "FLUSH" for this one, but there's not a lot of boating. McGee agrees to keep a package for a friend who then walks in front of a truck.
The Empty Copper Sea. Lippincott, 1978. 239 pages
Book 17 - Set in Florida, no boating to speak of. A friend of McGee's is accused of losing his boss overboard. McGee tries to clear his name.
Cinnamon Skin. Harper & Row, 1982. 275 pages
Book 20 - Set in Florida, Texas, Mexico, and elsewhere. Not much boating. McGee's best friend Meyer has his boat blown up, and the two of them set out to find the real reason.
The Lonely Silver Rain. Knopf, 1985. 231 pages
Book 21 - Set in Florida, with some boating. McGee is asked to find a missing yacht, but then finds himself the target of assassination attempts with no apparent reason. Prior to his death, MacDonald planned one more novel to complete this series.
MacGregor, James Murdoch (1925- 2008)
When the Ship Sank. Doubleday, 1959. 236 pages
A motor passenger vessel -- modeled loosely on the ATHENIA -- sails from Britain with a load of passengers escaping WW II. Then, on the first day of the war, it gets torpedoed and sunk, forcing all aboard to fight for survival. Book focuses on the fates of six women on the ship, and their friends, families and associates also aboard.
Send Down a Dove. Coward-McCann, 1968. 351 pages
The submarine HMS SCORPION has its refit cancelled, and in April 1945, is sent on a poorly thought-out mission to patrol the Skaggarak with a captain that believes he will be passed over for promotion and a disaffected crew.
MacKenzie, Compton (1883-1972)
Whisky Galore. Chattor & Windus, 1947. 264 pages
During World War II, a cargo vessel is wrecked off a remote Scottish island group — Great Todday and Little Todday — with fifty thousand cases of whisky aboard. Due to wartime rationing, the thirsty islanders had nearly run out of the "water of life" and see this as an unexpected godsend. They manage to salvage several hundred cases before the ship sinks. But they must thwart the efforts of the authorities to confiscate the liquor, particularly in the shape of a pompous English Home Guard Captain.
MacLean, Alistair (1922-1987)
HMS Ulysses. Doubleday, 1955. 316 pages
British light cruiser escorts WW II Murmansk convoys.
South by Java Head. Doubleday, 1958. 319 pages
Motley group of suspicious characters trying to escape from the Japanese advance on Singapore on a rotting tramp steamer.
Dark Crusader. Collins, 1961. 256 pages
Written under the pseudonym Ian Stuart. Published in the U.S. as "The Black Shrike". Couple on honeymoon voyage are actually agents on trail of missing scientists, end up on Polynesian island after series of disasters.
Fear is the Key. Doubleday, 1961. 264 pages
British adventurer kidnaps a girl at gunpoint and whisks her off down the Florida coast to the site of a mysterious salvage operation in the Gulf of Mexico. The search for treasure aboard a sunken DC-3 is mixed in with murder, mystery, and revenge.
The Golden Rendezvous. Doubleday, 1962. 301 pages
Tramp steamer with luxury cabins for rich folks get hijacked in gold theft with nuclear twist.
Ice Station Zebra. Doubleday, 1963. 276 pages
American nuclear sub is sent on a mission to rescue the staff of an ice pack weather station -- or at least that is how it seems.
When Eight Bells Toll. Doubleday, 1966. 288 pages
Secret agent pursuing modern pirates operating on the Irish Sea who hide their prizes by sinking them.
Bear Island. Doubleday, 1971. 273 pages
Murder among movie crew trying to shoot film 300 miles north of the Arctic Circle.
Seawitch. Doubleday, 1977. 240 pages
Industrial sabotage directed at a mobile offshore oil rig.
San Andreas. Doubleday, 1984. 306 pages
WW II medical ship ferries wounded and onboard saboteur across North Atlantic tracked by the Luftwaffe and U- boats.
The Lonely Sea. Doubleday, 1960. 221 pages
Collection of MacLean's nautical short stories dating back to his first published effort (The Dileas, 1954) that kicked off his writing career. The Dileas: Old man risks his fishing boat and crew in terrifying storm to rescue his two sons.
MacMahan, H. Arthur
Overdue and Presumed Lost. AuthorHouse, 2000. 306 pages
The exploits of a lone WW II U.S. Navy submarine hell-bent on revenge after witnessing the deliberate sinking of an American hospital ship. USS Sailfin's relentless pursuit of the Japanese aircraft carrier whose pilots had been observed bombing the helpless mercy ship, is followed by a nighttime sea battle that "pulls out all the stops."
MacNeil, Robert (1931- )
Burden of Desire. N.A. Talese/Doubleday, 1992. 466 pages
Tells the tale of the Halifax Explosion of 1917, when a fully loaded ammunition ship blew up in Halifax harbor, and the aftermath of the disaster.
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