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Torpedo Juice
Serge Storms Mystery, No 7

By Tim Dorsey

      To call Tim Dorsey simply a mystery writer is a disservice. He's also a comedian, satirist, sage observer and a great story teller.

       Torpedo Juice is Dorsey's most recent offering and it once again features Serge Storms, the anti-hero of crime fiction if there ever was one. Serge finds himself in the midst of the usual multi-layered plot with one new twist - he's decided it's time to get himself married. If there was ever a candidate for lifelong bachelorhood, it's Serge, and his search to find a wife adds a new level of complexity and hilarity to his character. Combine Serge's "mission" with a few criminal acts and Torpedo Juice is one of Dorsey's best.

      Dorsey doesn't tell a story so much as he throws it at you. Multiple viewpoints, mysterious characters, a narrator that isn't even a character and crimes and indiscretions all over the place are tossed into a literary blender, and Dorsey does a great job of making sense of it all. Perhaps the biggest compliment to his writing is that he gets away with things in his books that other writers wouldn't even begin to try. Just take a look at the last page in the book, where there is the traditional "A Note on the Type" followed by a not so traditional, but hilarious news item that makes fun of "A Note on the Type."

      Dorsey sets all of this in South Florida and this time Key West is the main target. As always, he evokes the culture and environment with dead on details and description that can only be told by someone who knows it well. He places the reader in the middle of all the zany action.

      Maybe a little bit of it is far-fetched and maybe there are some loose ends that don't tie together real snugly at the end, but Dorsey's characters and humor make up for those very minor flaws. Torpedo Juice is a great read and a fine entry into Dorsey's one of a kind series.

Reviews of other titles in this series

Stingray Shuffle, No 5
Cadillac Beach, No 6
Torpedo Juice, No 7
The Big Bamboo, No. 8
Hurricane Punch, No 9
Atomic Lobster, No 10
Gator A-Go-Go, No 12
Pineapple Grenade, 15

The Book

William Morrow / HarperCollins
February 2005
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The Reviewer

Jeff Shelby
Reviewed 2005
© 2005