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april in florida . . .

I do miss the daffodils, tulips and lilacs—the great introduction to Spring in parts further north. Unless you find them at the grocery stores, I’ve not seen them growing here in my part of Florida. Now I look forward to the first signs of turtles nesting in Spring, which can begin here as early as March, with hatching as early as July up until November. I’ve yet to see any signs of the Loggerheads which usually come to our beach, but I know Collier County has staff who check the beaches daily during turtle season, ready to build the protective cages around each site as soon as the turtle footprints and a mound denoting the nest appears, and to watch for signs of any disturbance by other critters. There were no signs of any nests today, but we’ve had dredging operations going which I’m told may delay the turtles coming in. Knowing that turtles return to the place of their own birth, if they sense a problem with that beach, where do they go? I’m told: they’ll just find another beach!

Continuing with my goal of introducing authors who are somewhat new to me, and might be new to other readers, I’ll focus on just three mystery writers from the state of Florida—each of the three with over twenty titles to their credit and each worth sampling.

· Carl Hiaasen – He places truly colorful characters, in situations which really stretch credibility, but will definitely put a smile on your face. As an example: I just finished Razor Girl wherein the title character is hired to stage rear end collisions. Her excuse: she is shaving her nether regions while driving as she has to get to make it to a date; she exits her car partially dressed and totally distracts the mark. This is how she makes her living and possibly destroys that of someone else.

· Tim Dorsey – His main re-occurring character is Serge A. Storms who has a host of mental health problems, none of which keep him from his mission to bring justice to those who he sees as injured in some way. His buddy on these adventures is Coleman who is both alcoholic and drug addicted. My most recent read: The Tropic of Stupid. These two will also keep you laughing.

· Randy Wayne White – These are straight forward mysteries, but again with interesting characters in several series. So far I have only read Night Moves in the Doc Ford series, where the character’s past as a marine biologist and possible government agent kept me engrossed in the story. Hannah Smith is a fishing guide who appears in the Doc Ford series, but also has her own series. Set in the Sanibel area, I’m ready to read more.

Happy Spring!

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