The Quick Red Fox
John D. MacDonald
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It was the standard blackmail scheme. For years, sultry Lysa Dean's name on a movie had meant a bonanza at the box office. Now a set of pictures could mean the end of her career.
When first approached for help by lovely Dana Holtzer, Lysa's personal secretary, Travis McGee is thoroughly turned off by the tacky details. But being low on cash, and tenderly attracted by the star's intriguingly remote secretary, McGee sets out to locate his suspects -- only to find that they start turning up dead!
and hefty in the thigh to look splendid in slacks. Venus de Milo would have looked like hell in stretch pants. They look just fine on the gangly just-ripening teenagers, or on the calculated slimness of a Lysa Dean. But there is something forlorn and slightly touching about the rump of the mature female who fills them all too well. Dana could not have managed stretch pants, but she did sneak by with the beautifully tailored slacks. They were high-waisted enough to fake a little figure correction,
Bastion Key you turn right off the highway beyond the town and follow a shell road out to a little short causeway that leads over to Hope Island. It is not a luxurious retreat. Stan Burley is the Schweitzer of the gin bottle. The buildings are surplus barracks he barged in long ago. He and all of his small staff are reformed drunks. If he has room, he takes you, at whatever you can afford to pay. He has some theories. They work for him. If you took a seven-foot chimp and shaved every hair off and
races, perhaps the race to Hawaii, and she was asking me to find out just how much cooperation she could get from the people who do own the big boats. It’s nonsense, of course, but people know so little about the industry they’re ready to believe anything. I made up sort of a plot as I went along.” “So she bought it. That’s the important thing. What about M’Gruder?” “Let me see. Oh, lots of things about M’Gruder. He is a physical fitness nut. He is a fine deep-water sailor. He is fantastically
with no bag to retrieve, went off to dicker a vehicle and, with ironic impulse, took that most typical of game-town cars, a big air-conditioned convertible, this one in metallic blue-green, white leather, ominously silent as Forest Lawn. There had been a place I liked, way out on the Strip, an utterly gameless and consequently expensive motor house called the Apache, and I knew it would be meaningless and would astonish her should I consult her. At the desk I said I had been there before, knew I
right, a conspiratorial rasp of female venom. “Bastard! Bastard! Bastard!” It was more contemptuous than indignant. I sought to move quietly out of range. I did not care how husbands were gutted in this desert paradise. I imagined it was done the same as elsewhere. But the male voice stopped me. “All I want to know is where you…” The rest of the sentence was lost. He had raised his voice to cut her off and lowered it as she fell silent. But it was Vance M’Gruder. “You are so smart! You are