The Dreadful Lemon Sky

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The Dreadful Lemon Sky
The Dreadful Lemon Sky.jpg
First edition hardcover
Author John D. MacDonald
Country United States
Language English
Series Travis McGee
Genre Mystery novel
Publisher Fawcett Publications
Publication date
Media type Print (Paperback)
Preceded by The Turquoise Lament
Followed by The Empty Copper Sea

The Dreadful Lemon Sky (1975) is the sixteenth novel in the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald. It is the 87th novel in The Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time as compiled by the Mystery Writers of America (it is not included in the U.K. version of the list).


Carrie, an old friend of the hero, Travis McGee, arrives at his houseboat, the Busted Flush. She has a suitcase full of suspicious money. Carrie asks Travis to keep it safe for her for two weeks and to send it to her sister if she does not return in two weeks. For his troubles, McGee can keep 10,000 worth.

A fortnight passes and Carrie doesn't return. McGee investigates and learns she died in a traffic accident but he believes she has been murdered. His investigation leads him to an apartment complex full of singles presided over by a landlord called 'Big Daddy'. He also meets the newly widowed 'Cindy Birdsong', who becomes his new romantic interest.


  • Merril, Hugh (2000). The Red Hot Typewriter: The Life and Times of John D. MacDonald. Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Minotaur. ISBN 978-0-312-20905-6. 
  • Geherin, David (1982). John D. MacDonald. F. Ungar Pub. Co. ISBN 978-0-8044-2232-1.