cover image Tropic of Stupid

Tropic of Stupid

Tim Dorsey. Morrow, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06296-750-3

Bestseller Dorsey breezes through his 24th comic novel featuring serial killer Serge A. Storms (after 2020’s Naked Came the Florida Man), mixing the slapstick humor of the Three Stooges with Sunshine State details that would make a Florida history professor envious. Serge, who has an encyclopedic knowledge of Florida, wants to know more about his own background. So, he buys a DNA service advertised on TV to construct a family tree. Serge and his perpetually stoned friend, Coleman, cruise Florida, meeting far-flung relatives while deciding what to do with the string of guys tied up in their car’s trunk. Along the way, Serge, who only kills those he deems deserving (such as those who swindle the vulnerable or disrespect Florida lore), realizes that one of his kin may also be a serial killer. As Serge holds forth on Florida’s flora, fauna, parks, and the glories of the TV show Sea Hunt, he crosses paths with a Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent investigating serial killers and a predatory lawyer. Though Dorsey lacks Carl Hiaasen’s sophistication, he succeeds amid the pratfalls in making Serge a hero. Agent: Nat Sobel, Sobel Weber Assoc. (Jan.)