CADILLAC BEACH

Tim Dorsey, Author . Morrow $24.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-06-052046-5

Certifiable nutcase Serge Storms and Lenny, his spacey marijuana-addicted sidekick, are back again in Dorsey's sixth screwball crime-spree novel (after The Stingray Shuffle ), this time on the trail of a stash of missing gems. As the novel begins, Serge escapes from Chattahoochee, Florida's state psychiatric hospital, and heads for Miami, obsessed with the idea of clearing up the mystery surrounding his grandfather's alleged suicide, which is tied to the legendary dozen diamonds still missing after Murph the Surf's infamous 1964 jewel heist from the Museum of Natural History. Serge's ambitious crusade gets off to an ill-omened start when he awakens the interest of both the mob and the Feds after getting into a graveside altercation with Tony Marsicano, the mob boss who was alone at the deathbed of Rico Spagliosi, a deceased fence reputed to have a part in the jewel heist. In a typical display of off-the-wall buffoonery, Serge starts a specialty Miami tour service, and his first booking is a group of drunken salesmen who, out to play a practical joke on a colleague, mistakenly kidnap Tony, with dire results. Sporadically moving back and forth between time present and nostalgic flashbacks to Miami Beach in the 1960s, the novel chronicles the methodical murders of Serge's grandfather's old cronies as Serge tracks his grandfather's movements at the time of the infamous gem heist and the return of the most famous of the stolen stones. Studded with psychosocial observations and dopey gags, this latest episode of Florida's hottest helter-skelter, hallucinogenic freak show will delight legions of Dorsey fans. Agent, Nat Sobel. 5-city author tour. (Feb. 3)

Reviewed on: 12/15/2003
Release date: 02/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 400 pages - 978-0-06-117200-7
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