Travis McGee

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As Americans debate their retirement options, they should look to the example of private investigator Travis McGee. The immortal creation of crime novelist John D. MacDonald, McGee would "retire" after each payday until the money ran out, on the theory that it's better to enjoy your golden years in installments while you're young.”

– Leonard Cassuto

I was in college. Unhappy. Finals were approaching and I hadn’t studied. So, embracing the failure that I knew was coming, I looked for further diversion. I found “salvage consultant” Travis McGee. Created by author John D. MacDonald, McGee was the kick in the ass I needed. MacDonald, through McGee, became a mentor and a handy moral compass for me. To this day, when faced with a ticklish ethical situation, it always helps to ask, “What would Travis do?” That is, after he slugs it out with some baddy, beds a beautiful but fragile client, and suffers through his own clay-footed crisis of faith only to rise, doubtful of his own abilities, and right a gruesome wrong. If you don’t know Travis, start at the beginning. Forgive the quaintness of the 1960s morals and stick with him. Watch him grow. You will too. And, by the way, the books do kick ass.

Watching the detective.
Wiki McGee.