Me neither. But I don't see myself picking up any Dickens either.
Let's start our poolside, back deck or beachfront reading with something a little bit dirty. Throw in a few palm trees, a conspiracy or two and a melange of vice-ridden characters. Add, rum, syrup, mint and lime and pour over ice. A plate of stone crabs if you can get them.
Here's one for your lounge chair: Dirt, by South Florida journalist Tony Doris, is the "fictional" tale of a many-fingered South Florida real estate scandal so far-fetched that some of it has never actually happened in Miami. As far as I know.
The only way to be 100 percent sure you're writing crime fiction in Miami is to have at least a few lines of dialogue spoken by an alligator. It's what is known as the "talking alligator dilemma" in South Florida writing circles. Or it will be from now on, because I just made it up.
Now a staff writer at The Palm Beach Post, Tony used to be a colleague of mine at a newspaper in Miami whose headquarters and "urine perfumed" neighborhood make a barely-disguised appearance in his book. It brought back some strongly-scented memories. That place did not smell good in the summer. But I have never seen bougainvillea as brilliant as the profusion that grew along those urine-soaked sidewalks. Coincidence or landscaping tip? I never knew.
My point is, I really enjoyed this book, and not just because I am sentimental for the baked men's room scent of certain sections of downtown Miami. It's a laugh-out-loud story that manages to keep its place between the headlines and the alligators. It felt both ridiculous and probable at the same time. Just like Miami.
Click on the book cover to start reading Dirt now. Or follow the links below: