Book Review: “The Maltese Iguana: A Novel (Serge Storms 26)” by Tim Dorsey

Full disclosure – I was provided a copy of this book by the author’s representative; however, I have voluntarily chosen to write a review. All opinions are my own.

Spies in the Sunshine State

Serge Storms and Coleman are back in the 26th installment of the long standing series by author Tim Dorsey. Having waited out Covid as patiently as he could ever have, Serge is eager to hit the road again and he’s taking the residents of Pelican Bay with him. But post pandemic tour planning is not without its hitches and before Serge can even begin to delight and entertain his fellow condo dwellers outside of the weekly game nights, he must deal with pandemic poachers and opportunistic hackers. After dispatching these threats in true Serge fashion, he is ready to treat the retirees to what will most likely be the ride of their lives. Armed with his vast and obscure Florida knowledge they set out on a tour of local must-see destinations that’s NOT the normal Florida kitsch. With interest mounting and the small group growing bigger and bigger with every outing Serge shifts the focus to Florida’s all but forgotten involvement in the spy game over the years. As the group begins to visit little known abandoned spy locales in the Sunshine State, including those real and depicted in movies, they grab the attention of the actual CIA cells that are still very much active in the area. When a reporter friend of Serge’s seeks out his unconventional protection tactics for himself, a high-profile fugitive of both the Honduran gangs and the government and a disavowed CIA operative the spotlight is turned on high. Armed only with an illegal coke machine, a cursed bong, and a busload full of retirees from an Islamorada condominium Serge leads the convoy of sightseers, CIA tails, special ops teams, and others into what can only be described as one of the most explosive endings in Serge’s history.

Tim Dorsey has done it again with this newest Serge A Storms installment and I am proud to say that I have been along for the coffee fueled murder and hilarity since the beginning. Over the years Serge has been all over the state and left a trail of bodies in his wake, but even knowing that Serge is a killer he is still one of my favorite literary characters ever. Possessing an encyclopedic knowledge of all things Florida as well as a scary number of interesting ways to kill people his antics are never the same and always entertaining. Add in a person who can only be described as the polar opposite of our main man with his long time best friend and  stoner sidekick and Dorsey have created one of the oddest of odd couples to ever grace the pages of a book. This combination may be strange, but it has worked for 26 novels and counting and I do not see any signs of Serge meeting his end anytime soon. With another successful installment complete, I am seriously looking forward to what threats to Serge’s beloved Sunshine State dare to cross his path in the next title and what interesting Florida factoids I will learn.

If you like madcap comedy and are a fan of other Florida authors such as Carl Hiaasen and Dave Barry, Tim Dorsey’s Serge A Storms series is sure to be a delight.

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