A Serge A. Storms Mystery by Tim Dorsey
Review: Serge A. Storms buys a high-handled motorcycle and sets off to finish the journey started by the characters in the movie Easy Rider in Coconut Cowboy, the nineteenth entry in this series by Tim Dorsey.
Serge has been documenting his adventures on a blog, and not too long after he and Coleman start their adventure they meet up with Matt, a Princeton graduate student who has been following the blog and has decided to write his thesis on Florida. "I believe Florida has become the classic canary in the coal mine," Matt tells his roommates before leaving for the Sunshine State. "It just might be showing us the first signs of a new dissociative syndrome." Believing Serge to be an academic just like himself, he meets up with Serge and Coleman at the Purple Hatter's Ball at the Spirit of Suwannee Music Park and decides to tag along. Meanwhile, a local town in northern Florida has annexed a strip of highway and been handing out speeding tickets to anyone and everyone passing through. But the revenue from that is just to cover the town's expenses. The real money coming in is from a Miami connection, who is beginning to get suspicious on how his illicit cash is being laundered by the town's power-brokers.
Coconut Cowboy follows the standard formula that has made this series so successful. In a way, however, it may be too formulaic; nearly every action by Serge — and the increasingly unlikeable Coleman, who appears in every single scene with Serge — can be choreographed in advance. Princeton graduate student Matt is an interesting diversion, especially when his relationship to another character is revealed, and the storyline includes topical references to Florida's "stand your ground" law and the ever-present sinkholes that make the national news now and again. The interweaving of these plot elements with the Easy Rider references is cleverly handled, but it's done in a humorless manner. Not once is there a laugh-out-loud moment; there isn't even a wry smile moment. It's cut, dried, and delivered. Ardent fans of the series will be entertained, but others who have read earlier (and better) entries will likely be disappointed.
Acknowledgment: HarperCollins provided a copy of Coconut Cowboy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Shark Skin Suite
William Morrow (Hardcover), January 2015
ISBN-13: 9780062240019; ISBN-10: 0062240013
Location(s) referenced in Coconut Cowboy: Florida
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Coconut Cowboy by Tim Dorsey — A Serge A. Storms Mystery
Publisher: William Morrow
Publication Date: January 2016
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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