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Mystery Books - Laurence Shames - Florida Straits

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Florida Straits
Laurence Shames
Dell 1993

Florida Straits by Laurence Shames is an unusual, fun to read crime caper. Publishers Weekly called this "a comedy of Mafia manners" and this is a pretty accurate take on this laid back thriller. Florida Straits is not memorable but it is enjoyable.

Joey Goldman is the illegitimate son of made man Vincente Delgatto. As such, he is of very little importance. Tired of life in New York, Joey decides to seek his fortune in Florida and takes his girlfriend Sandra along with him.  Joey thinks he can bring New York style organization to Florida crime. He soon finds out he is sadly mistaken and really needs to be more laid back.

Things happen and Joey starts to live like a citizen. His stepbrother Gino comes for a visit and Joey's quiet little life disappears in a story of jewels stolen from local crime boss Charlie Ponte. Ponte suspects Joey and Gino uses Joey to attract attention while he takes care of business.

This is where Joey discovers he does have a certain talent for complicated capers.

Florida Straits is not a serious crime novel nor is it as funny as your average Carl Hiassen.

Laurence Shames is pretty much a get to the point writer so the book moves pretty quickly. This book is a nice little read and sometimes that is all you want.

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