The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper

The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper

Book - 1995 | 1st Fawcett Crest ed.
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Random House, Inc.
From a beloved master of crime fiction, The Girl in the Plain Brown Wrapper is one of many classic novels featuring Travis McGee, the hard-boiled detective who lives on a houseboat.

He had done a big favor for her husband, then for the lady herself. Now she’s dead, and Travis McGee finds that Helena Pearson Trescott had one last request of him: to find out why her beautiful daughter Maureen keeps trying to kill herself. But what can a devil-may-care beach bum do for a young troubled mind?

“The Travis McGee novels are among the finest works of fiction ever penned by an American author.”—Jonathan Kellerman

McGee makes his way to the prosperous town of Fort Courtney, Florida, where he realizes pretty quickly that something’s just not right. Not only has Maureen’s doctor killed herself, but a string of murders and suicides are piling up—and no one seems to have any answers.

Just when it seems that things can’t get any stranger, McGee becomes the lead suspect in the murder of a local nurse. As if Maureen didn’t have enough problems, the man on a mission to save her will have to save himself first—before time runs out.

Features a new Introduction by Lee Child

Publisher: New York : Fawcett Crest, 1995, c1968.
Edition: 1st Fawcett Crest ed.
ISBN: 9780449224618
Characteristics: 336 p. ; 18 cm.


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Aug 31, 2015

The cover of the OPL edition of this book is more true to the text of the novel than the one I read, which shows Maurie, the girl in the plain brown wrapper of the title, as a black-haired temptress in a sheer brown negligé she seems to be in the process of discarding. The actual Maurie in the novel is a beautiful blonde, not sexually promiscuous but the victim of sexual predators, and the plain brown wrapper is a sheet of heavy brown packing paper used to wrap heavy equipment in which she is wrapped while still wearing a grey-blue suit. Has an illustrator ever taken greater liberties with the content of a novel in their cover picture?
In an aside on the inability of white and black Americans who otherwise have much in common to communicate freely, Mr. MacDonald has Travis McGee remark: “my outward type has knotted a lot of black skulls, topped a lot of black ewes”. A lot of readers, like me, wouldn’t know what “topped” meant, but guessed from context it meant “copulated with”. It is, however, an old word. In Shakespeare’s Othello, one can find: "An old black ram is tupping your white ewe." It shows the textual richness of MacDonald’s novels, which sets him apart from most other American writers of popular fiction.

Oct 01, 2013

Seems like things were really different in the swinging 60s when this book was first written... black people were all maids, etc.? women now liberated by "the pill" go around having sex with strangers. People having electroshock therapy at home... this book was hard to get through and I kept spacing out.


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