I'm between drafts of a novel and have been roaming around my collection of books, picking up this and that, while I mull over various problems. This is the first time I've written a novel in the third person and from more than one viewpoint and I'm also having plotting problems. It always helps to see how other people have managed. John D MacDonald's Travis McGee novels are in the first person, so not much help as regards viewpoint, but he is a terrific plotter and the books are compulsively readable. They are set in Florida over a time-span of over twenty years and are a fascinating reflection of social history from the drugged-up sixties to the chilly eighties. It is a pretty dangerous thing to be an attractive woman in Travis McGee's life as, despite his best intentions, they usually wind up dead. Still he is a engaging character, and his hirsute intellectual chum, Meyer, even more so, to my mind. And the novels are an object lesson, too, in how to keep a series going, though they are not quite of equal quality, and there are occasional repetitions. New readers might start with THE SCARLET RUSE or THE DREADFUL LEMON SKY or PALE GREY FOR GUILT(great titles).