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Cadillac Beach (Serge Storms Series #6)

Cadillac Beach (Serge Storms Series #6)

4.4 34
by Tim Dorsey

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Everyone out of the water!

Serge A. Storms is back! The one-man crime spree hits no speed bumps as he swings through Tampa, Disney World, and parts south before settling down in Miami Beach to team up with a former sidekick and launch his long- overdue offbeat travel service.

It's a labor of love as Serge forces customers to confront the underbelly of the


Everyone out of the water!

Serge A. Storms is back! The one-man crime spree hits no speed bumps as he swings through Tampa, Disney World, and parts south before settling down in Miami Beach to team up with a former sidekick and launch his long- overdue offbeat travel service.

It's a labor of love as Serge forces customers to confront the underbelly of the Sunshine State's past and present. Some clients get it; others run for their lives. No matter. Bullets fly, cars crash, bodies pile up, fireballs reach into the sky, local lore is recited. The tour continues.

But wait! There's more!

Our overachieving antihero has a full to-do list, and he multitasks during the tourist juggernaut to battle the Palermo crime family, mystery assassins, local police, the FBI, the CIA, Fidel Castro, and telemarketers.

Whew! That's plenty! . . . No, it's not! Serge is also out to solve a forty-year-old mystery involving the infamous "Murph the Surf" gem heist. Could this be what got his grand-father killed? So we jump into the time machine to meet his eccentric granddad, Sergio, who is running a small-time bookie operation in 1964 Miami Beach, a golden time and place popu-lated by the Beatles, Cassius Clay, James Bond, Jackie Gleason, and Flipper. . . .

Back to live action! Serge and his customers have become the hunted, hopscotching through a series of famous hotel rooms. But Serge tells them not to worry. He has a master plan, which is about to unfold in all of its insane glory . . . on Cadillac Beach!

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
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) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
After Florida Roadkill: Serge heads to Miami to discover why his bookie grandfather died-and trips over some missing diamonds. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Just because South Florida trivia aficionado Serge A. Storms is crazy doesn't mean he's stupid, as Dorsey demonstrated in The Stingray Shuffle (2003) and wallops home once more. Back in the swingin' '60s, when South Beach was still low-rent housing and the Fountainbleu in the full flower of its glory, Serge's grandpa Sergio got a hold of a dozen of the diamonds heisted by Murph the Surf from the Museum of Natural History. Now Serge is out to recover the ice and prove that granddad's subsequent suicide was actually murder. He recruits Lenny Lippowicz, who between tokes drives a limo for Serge & Lenny's South Florida Experience, a tour that showcases the side of Miami nobody's seen-or wanted to. But when four customers, Brad, Keith, Rusty, and Doug, make an unscheduled stop at the airport to play a prank on fellow conventioneer Dave and mistakenly shoot mobster Tony Mariscano, the hunters become the hunted. Joined by City and Country, two hot chicks last glimpsed in Hammerhead Ranch Motel (2000), and New York sportscaster Mick Dafoe, whom Serge kidnapped in hope of bagging someone to ransom back to the mob, the growing entourage runs from the Mafia and after the diamonds, meanwhile making all the South Florida Experience's scheduled stops. Serge's uncharacteristically sharp focus takes some of the edge off as Dorsey's freewheeling style, still gloriously manic, is compressed into a mere two dimensions. Agent: Nat Sobel

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Serge Storms Series , #6
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.00(d)

Read an Excerpt

Cadillac Beach
A Novel

Chapter One

Tampa -- 1996

A bearded man in rags stood on the side of a busy noon intersection, holding up a cardboard sign: will be your psychic friend for food.

A Volvo rolled up. The bum leaned to the window.

"People are out to get you. Vaccinations will be rendered obsolete in coming years by superaggressive bacteria. Your memory will start playing tricks. Tackle those feelings of hopelessness by giving up."

The driver handed over a dollar. Serge stuffed the bill in his pocket and waved as the car pulled away. "Have a nice day!"

The traffic light cycled again; an Infiniti pulled up.

"Today is the day to seize opportunities and act on long-term goals. But not for you. The House of Capricorn is in regression, which means the water signs are ambiguous at best. Meanwhile, Libra is rising and out to fuck you stupid. Stay home and watch lots of TV."

A dollar came through the window.

"Peace, brother."

The light ran through its colors. Serge knocked on the window of a Mitsubishi. The glass opened an inch.

"Put off making that crucial life-decision today because you'll be wrong. Stop and notice the small things in life, like pollen. Wear something silly and give in to that whimsical urge to kick people in the crotch."

A dollar came through the window slit. Serge waved cheerfully as tires squealed. Next: a cigar-chomping man in an Isuzu. Serge bent down.

"The word 'smegma' will come up today at an awkward moment. Begin keeping a journal; write down all your thoughts so you can see how stupid they are. Don't be rash! Blue works for you!"

"Hey, what kind of a reading is that?"

"Top-of-the-line," said Serge, holding out his hand. "Where's my money?"

"I'm not paying you."

"Come on, ya cheapskate!"

"That was a lousy reading!"

"Okay, let's see what else I got." Serge placed the back of his hand to his forehead and closed his eyes. "Wait, I'm getting a strong signal now. A transient will take down your license plate, track your address through the Department of Motor Vehicles, come to your house at night and kill you in your sleep." Serge opened his eyes and smiled. "How was that?"

The silent driver held out a dollar.

"Oh, no," said Serge," that was my special five-dollar prediction." The man didn't move.

"No problem," said Serge, pulling a notepad from his pocket. "I'll just jot down your plate and come by later to get the money."

The man pulled a five from his wallet, threw it out the window and sped off.

Serge picked up the bill, kissed it and waved. He looked around and smiled at his chosen surroundings: drive-through liquor stores, robbery stakeout signs, bus benches advertising twelve-step programs, billboards for deserted dog tracks and talentless morning radio. A sooty diesel cloud floated by. Ah, the great outdoors! Serge turned and headed away from the street. Back to the swamp. It was a small swamp, but it was his swamp, nestled in the quarter-loop of a freeway interchange in the part of Tampa where I-275 dumps Busch Gardens visitors off for thrifty motels and breakfast buffets and encounters with local residents that make the Kumba inverting three-G roller coaster look like a teeter-totter. Serge pushed back brambles and shuffled through underbrush until he popped into a clearing at a hobo camp. Smudge-faced men tended a small fire in the middle of the cardboard boomtown, empty quart bottles randomly strewn everywhere, except on the southeast quadrant, where bottles formed strict geometric crop patterns in Serge's "quart-bottle garden."

Serge sat down at the fire. The other guys scooted closer to him. Serge began handing out money.

"How do you make so much?" asked Toledo Tom.

"Why do you just give it away to us?" asked Saratoga Sam.

"Why don't you have a nickname?" asked Night Train O'Donnell.

"I'm a simple man, with simple needs," said Serge. "I'm on an Eastern ascetic journey right now, trying to shed material wants."

"How did you get to be homeless?" asked Whooping Cough Willie.

"Oh, I'm not homeless," said Serge. "I'm camping."

They laughed and passed a bottle.

"No, really. I love camping, ever since I was a kid. I used to go to the state parks, but cities are much more dangerous and fun."

"But your beard ...?"

"Your smelly clothes ...?"

"Begging on street corners ...?"

"That's for the cops. If you're a fugitive and want the police to leave you alone -- if you want everyone to leave you alone -- go homeless-style. No eye contact, nothing. It's like being invisible. Even if you get in some kind of scrape, you're too much trouble to be worth the paperwork. They just tell you to move along or drive you to the city limits, not even fingerprints."

"You're hiding from the cops?" asked Tom.

"Ever since I escaped from Chattahoochee."

"You escaped from Chattahoochee?" Sam said with alarm. "A few times."

"Isn't that where they keep the crazy people?" asked Willie.

"Oh, like you guys are a group photo of solid mental health," said Serge.

"What were you in for?" asked Tom.

"I killed a bunch of vagrants."

They began crab-walking backward from Serge.

"That was a joke! I was kidding! Jesus!"

They slid forward.

"Of course, how do you really know when someone from Chattahoochee is kidding?"

They stood up.

"I was kidding that time," said Serge. They sat back down. "But do you really know for sure?"

They took off running in crooked directions.

"Guys! It was a joke! I thought if anyone could appreciate irony ... !" Serge stood and made a megaphone with his hands ...

Cadillac Beach
A Novel
. Copyright © by Tim Dorsey. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Tim Dorsey was a reporter and editor for the Tampa Tribune from 1987 to 1999, and is the author of nineteen other novels: Coconut Cowboy, Shark Skin Suite, Tiger Shrimp Tango, The Riptide Ultra-Glide, Pineapple Grenade, When Elves Attack, Electric Barracuda, Gator A-Go-Go, Nuclear Jellyfish, Atomic Lobster, Hurricane Punch, The Big Bamboo, Torpedo Juice, Cadillac Beach, The Stingray Shuffle, Triggerfish Twist, Orange Crush, Hammerhead Ranch Motel, and Florida Roadkill. He lives in Tampa, Florida.

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Cadillac Beach (Serge Storms Series #6) 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Drewano More than 1 year ago
Another great Serge adventure. Murder, mayhem and laughs make this book tons of fun. If you’re looking for unique characters and outrageous situations look no further! The most amazing thing about this book is how well the author pulls it all together at the end. This book more than any other one felt like there were more ridiculous story lines than a soap opera, but somehow in the last few pages everything is wrapped up with a bow and in hilarious fashion. I really enjoyed this one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just an all around hilarious book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
meljk More than 1 year ago
for another wild ride! i started this series with Hammerhead Ranch...and i got hooked! normally my reads of choice are mysteries/thrillers...so Dorsey's Serge Storms books are a FUN getaway! (if you know the lay of the land of florida...you'll recognize many of the places the characters roam, and learn much about the history of this state!) laughable. hysterical at times. wild & crazy. guns. sex, drugs & rock 'n roll. ****
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Rambling story funny in spots
The_Faz More than 1 year ago
Another great book in the series. Serge Storm is awesome. Cant wait to read what Serge does next. I was actually hoping I would not be interested in this series but I was sucked in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr Dorsey never disapoints.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No longer a graveyard!!! :)
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Coleman_Cooler More than 1 year ago
Another good story about my favorite thrill killer. Although, compared to the previous books this one is a little pedestrian and not nearly as thrilling.
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