Derek

Stephen King | Duma Key

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The best tropical fiction on earth sometimes arrives from unexpected directions, this time via the long renowned Master of Horror, Mr. Stephen King. Maybe you’ve always wanted to try a Stephen King novel but, frankly, found yourself a bit grossed out by the reputation, or have had the misfortune to stumble across one of the seemingly endless parade of truly terrible movie or cable television adaptations (Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, and The Green Mile are obvious exceptions). Fret no more. Duma Key is the the book you’ve been waiting for all your life, and neatly falls onto my tropical radar due to the Sarasota-esque location on the fictional island from…

John H. Cunningham | Red Right Return

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In a world woefully short on two-fisted, contemplative, slightly neurotic tropical knights, John H. Cunningham’s character of Buck Reilly flies his seaplane (of course) out of Red Right Return just in time to provide the kind of fictional fix we’ll always pay good money to read. With Travis McGee gone from the stage, except for treasured rereads, and Doc Ford dabbling in melodrama as time wears on, our office reviewers constantly scan the horizon for the next down and out, rough around the edges, sea bum. Buck Reilly fits the bill perfectly. First let’s get the plot out of the way. The festivities take place primarily in Key West, Cuba,…

Mangrove Squeeze | Laurence Shames

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For years I’ve been cursing the heavens and randomly shoving small children to the floor in the local grocery store’s cereal aisle, not because I’m a bad man, but because not a single one of Laurence Shames’s loosely related Key West books were available on Kindle. To those of us here at FPF, that’s like Carl Hiaasen releasing a new book but only printing one copy and hiding it somewhere in the Everglades. Well, in case you’re the last to know, all six of Mr. Shames’s “mafiosos’ in paradise” stories are available on the e-reader of your choice for the pittance of $2.99 each. If you don’t think this is…

The Quick Adios (Times Six) | Tom Corcoran

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There are few people writing Florida-based novels today with more street cred than Tom Corcoran. The guy co-wrote songs (“Fins” and “Cuban Crime of Passion” for those Parrotheads who might be interested) with Jimmy Buffett back in the 1970s, and sold tacos on the street corner out of his bicycle basket, for Pete’s sake! The locals knew him as Taco Tom back then. With the recent release of The Quick Adios (Times Six), Corcoran revisits a character, Alex Rutledge, who has appeared in five or six books previously – I could look it up but does it really matter? If you decide to check out this book on Amazon, it…

Coked Up Stripper With a Heart of Coal

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[Tim Dorsey | Florida Roadkill] We can now trace the exact date that Carl Hiaasen become the reigning “old” master of Florida adventure writing, the safe, mainstream alternative to a new breed of even edgier, more over-the-top writer. It was August 1999 and that was when Florida Roadkill by Tim Dorsey hit the bookshelves. This hyperactive tale of sociopaths, alcoholics, retirement communities, and cocaine strippers stumbling around the south Florida coastline, killing off bad guys in particularly gruesome and creative fashion, all the while pursuing a suitcase with half a million dollars unknowingly stashed in the the trunk of a car driven by a pair of buddies headed for a…