POPE OF PALM BEACH
William Morrow (January, 2018)
Kindle edition: $1.99
* The paperback edition of this title will be released December 18, 2018. Price: $15.99. It is available for pre-order from online book sources.
Serge Storms series. (Book 21)
by Shirley Wetzel
Serge Storms and his always sky-high buddy Coleman are on the road again, this time on a literary pilgrimage. As always, hilarity and tragedy follow them on the path from Key West to their childhood home town, Riviera Beach, Florida.
The duo has no patience with wrongdoers, and when they meet some bad guys along the way they give them a dose of their own medicine. In the case of a greedy young pharmaceutical magnate who jacked up the price of a life-saving drug, the punishment is literal, and brutal. They teach some frat boys how not to mess with sea turtles, and demonstrate to a guy illegally dumping hazardous material the error of his ways. Their actions aren’t the ones most sane people would do, but hey, it’s Serge and Coleman, it’s just what they do.
The story alternates between the childhood days of Serge, Coleman, and a guy named Kenny Reese and the present. All three were huge fans of the legendary surfer, Darby Pope, known to all as the Pope of Palm Beach.
Darby knows everybody who is anybody, and to those who are in need of kindness. Kenny is his devoted acolyte, and when Darby’s surfing days are ended by a near-fatal accident, Kenny is there for him, moving in with Darby to help make his life easier. Needing a new focus for his energies, Darby challenges non-reader Kenny to read the books in his extensive library. After reading several classics, Kenny decides he is meant to be a writer. Darby provides the content, stories of his adventurous and colorful life in Palm Beach County, and Kenny turns them into well written novels. Before long, Kenny is a best-selling author.
Darby and Kenny run afoul of some drug smugglers, with tragic results. Kenny becomes a recluse, sitting in his darkened house in a near catatonic stupor, shotgun in his arms. Serge, a big fan of Reese’s books, uses some clever sleuthing to track down the author. In his own inimitable way, he and Coleman bring him back into the sunlight. All is well until Serge finds Kenny’s stash of finished manuscripts and, without his knowledge, sends it to Kenny’s old agent. Within weeks the book is in print. This action sends Kenny back into his catatonic state, and puts a price on all their heads.
When Serge realizes the danger he’s put them all in, he leaps into action to save Kenny, Kenny’s assistant Chris, a vision in plaid, Coleman, stoned as always, and himself. He uses all his skills and tricks, but the odds are stacked against him. Will it be enough? Read this book and find out.
Serge and Coleman are not the usual heroes, but in their own unique way they usually do good. As always in this series, the atmosphere of Florida with all its beauty and ugliness is rich and fully depicted. The characters—well, they are all characters in one way or another. Fans of madcap mysteries full of murder and mayhem will enjoy THE POPE OF PALM BEACH. The book is highly entertaining, but not for the faint of heart. Recommended.
* NO SUNSCREEN FOR THE DEAD: A Novel (Serge Storms) by Tim Dorsey will be released in hardcover on January 15, 2019.
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