Quote of the Week

"The key is to commit crimes so confusing that police feel too stupid to even write a crime report about them."
Randy K. Milholland, Something Positive Comic
10-30-03. Web Comic Pioneer

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pineapple Grenade by Tim Dorsey

Pineapple Grenade is the latest offering of renowned author Tim Dorsey which is set in hot and steamy Miami, Florida.  Readers are introduced to the ongoing character Serge Storms who is a vigilante serial killer of sorts and his stoned out friend Coleman.  The 15th in the series by Tim Dorsey, readers immediately get a feel for the quirkiness of the writing with the washing up of an artificial limb on the shore and a body that has been disposed in a forensically very interesting way (don't want to be a spoiler).  As Wendy and I set out to read stories in states where place was important as the characters, this book fit the bill.  I rambled the stacks in the mystery section of the bookstore and wound up with this book as the next in line of my journey. However, as an avid mystery reader, I am often choosing a book in the middle of the series. You can often pick up threads of the past in the first chapter or two that help you move through the book.  It’s those story bits that leads you back and connect the people to really motivate a reader new to your series.  This book provided none of that.  I began stark and new and clueless.
The lead character Serge seems to be an appealing enough guy with the bumbling stoned out sidekick Coleman.  I am unsure if I am supposed to like these people or finding their brand of vigilante killing something to care about.  The blurbs about Dorsey's books often include the word humor, so I was looking out for those moments.  Maybe I just didn't recognize humor when I saw it, but what do I know? Serge and Coleman insinuate themselves into a group that is protecting the dictator of a fictitious banana republic who is coming to Miami for a summit. Serge becomes a secret agent of sorts that helps the dubious factions and winds up playing mind games among the players.   They all wonder who Serge really is and who does he work for?  And as Serge goes along his merry way with Coleman in tow (who really does that much drugs), he kills a few people with what seems to be a familiar mantra…” I always leave a way out…” but in this book none of Serge’s victims survive.  I will say Serge is ingenious.  But Dorsey as an author lost me.   This reminds me that maybe this character is the love child of Dexter the serial killer and Carl Hiaasen type characters.  But I am really not sure I want to know more or revisit the previous 14 to find out how these characters came to be.  It’s obvious Dorsey has a huge following, but while I didn’t hate the book, I am likely not to read another unless I come across one at a library sale or swap table. Sorry Mr. Dorsey.