The Complete List of John D. MacDonald Books in Order

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Some authors have written so many books that it becomes really challenging to understand the reading sequence.

One such author is John D. MacDonald, who has written a plethora of books throughout his writing journey and is popular due to his excellent delivery of stories.

I will be listing the complete list of John D. MacDonald books in order in this article.

If you are looking for the full list or are interested in reading books by this famous author, then stay with me throughout.

Who is John D. MacDonald?

Who is John D. MacDonald

John D. MacDonald was born in Sharon, Pennsylvania on July 24, 1916. But at age 10, he moved to Utica, NY, with his family.

He is a popular American author who has written over 70 books, mostly mystery, thriller, science fiction, and fantasy.

Around the age of 12, MacDonald suffered from scarlet fever and mastoiditis. During this period, John has to remain in confinement, and he turned to books for escape.

By reading books, he got fascinated with writers and their skills!

His father’s continuous urge led him to enroll in the Wharton School, the country’s first collegiate business school, at the University of Pennsylvania. But he dropped out during his sophomore year and did some menial jobs.

Later, he returned to school and enrolled at Syracuse University. After graduating from Syracuse in 1938, he earned an MBA from Harvard.

At age 27, he was assigned to the Army’s Office of Strategic Services, and in September 1945, he returned as a lieutenant Colonel.

His wife sold one of his short stories, which inspired him to write more. Following many rejections, his stories finally began to sell, and after releasing his first novel, he succeeded in his desired career.

The talented and award-winning author died on December 28, 1986, due to complications following heart surgery.

John D. MacDonald’s Books in Order

Sr. NoTitlePublication DatePrint LengthPublisherWhere to Buy
1The Deep Blue Good-by1984 January 1240 pagesG.K. HallAmazon
2The Brass Cupcake2014 May 13256 PagesRandom House Trade PaperbacksAmazon
3The Good Old Stuff2014 September 18240 PagesThe Murder RoomAmazon

Below, I’ve listed all the books under the series title Travis McGee by John MacDonald. I have also provided a synopsis of the first book. Check it out!

Travis McGee Books Reading and Publication Order

The main protagonist of the series is Travis McGee, a fictional character created by John D. MacDonald. He is a private investigator who is tough and intelligent, lives in Florida, and prefers to take dangerous assignments.

It has a series of crime novels that will hook the readers.

There are a total of 21 novels in the Travis Mc Gee series, and it’s recommended to read them in their reading and publication order.

However, the first few books are standalones, but the following books have references, so it’s better to start from the beginning and in order. Have a look at the full list of books in order.

Start With: The Deep Blue Good-by

The Deep Blue Good-by
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This is the very first novel of the series and introduces us to Travis McGee, the main character. He is a detective who lives in a houseboat (won in a card game).

Travis McGee helps you find anything you have lost (conned or robbed) but on the condition of keeping half the value of the stolen item.

In this book, a woman comes to Travis for help. Junior Allen, a thief who claimed to be a cellmate of the woman’s father, stole some valuable items that her father had left for her and ran away.

The man also took advantage of another woman and left her in a worse condition before leaving. Travis starts on the quest to find this ruthless thief, but he does not expect so many challenges on the road. Will he be able to catch the culprit?

Standalone Novels

The author has written many standalone novels throughout his writing career. I’ve provided the list below.

Brief Description of ‘The Brass Cupcake’

Brief Description of ‘The Brass Cupcake’
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The Brass Cupcake is the debut novel of John D. MacDonald, and the main protagonist is Cliff Bartells. He was a police officer who was forced to resign due to being too honest and his non-tolerance of wrongdoings by people.

So, he joined an insurance company as a claims adjuster. An elderly woman who was visiting the city and also robbed of $750,000 worth of jewelry, which was insured by Bartells’s company, was murdered, and this creates a challenging situation.

Now, Bartell must find out the thief and killer, but how will he do so when the local cops do not want him to interfere in the matter?

Short Story Books

The author, John D. MacDonald, has published several short story books. I have listed them in their publication order.

Brief Description of ‘The Good Old Stuff’

The Good Old Stuff
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John D. MacDonald has written many short stories in his lifetime and has collected and compiled them in books. The Good Old Stuff is one such short storybook written by the author. There are a total of 13 stories in the book.

Most of these individual stories were published during the 40s and 50s. John made some changes to the stories before republishing them at that time.


Reading mystery thriller books is fun, and John D. MacDonald’s books are some of the most thrilling ones.

I hope this article helped you to get the complete list of John D. MacDonald’s books in order. Now, you can refer to this list before diving into his books.

Have you read the Travis McGee series by the author? What are your thoughts? Share your views in the comments.

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