Wanted: NY apartment in exchange for a great Key West house with swimming pool. In February. Who wouldn't take a swap like that? Then again, if a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is, as Meg and Peter Kaplan soon discover. Heading south for a supposed dream vacation, what they find instead is a panic attack waiting to happen. Coconuts crash through windows, bearing cryptic death threats. People fall from palm trees while spying on the pool. Neighbors whisper of Mob connections, leaving the Kaplans to wonder if they'll get whacked by mistake in the Southernmost City or if their cozy West Side co-op has been transformed into a convenient Mafia morgue. Enter an FBI agent going rogue, a very good girl determined to be very bad, and the irrepressible Bert the Shirt with his chihuahua, and the cast is complete for this riotous Florida romp. Told with Laurence Shames' trademark mix of suspense and comedy, mayhem and romance, crackling dialogue and lush description, TROPICAL SWAP is a vacation you can savor without ever leaving home.
- Paperback | 185 pages
- 148.6 x 214.1 x 18.5mm | 340.19g
- 01 Feb 2015
- Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
- United States
- black & white illustrations
About MR Laurence Shames
Laurence Shames has been a New York City taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman. Having failed to distinguish himself in any of those professions, he turned to writing full-time in 1976 and has not done an honest day's work since. His basic laziness notwithstanding, Shames has published more than twenty books and hundreds of magazine articles and essays. Best known for his critically acclaimed series of Key West novels, he has also authored non-fiction and enjoyed considerable though largely secret success as a collaborator and ghostwriter. Shames has penned four New York Times bestsellers. These have appeared on four different lists, under four different names, none of them his own. This might be a record. Born in Newark, New Jersey in 1951, to chain-smoking parents of modest means but flamboyant emotions, Shames graduated summa cum laude from NYU in 1972 and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa. Shortly after finishing college, he began annoying editors by sending them short stories they hated. He also wrote longer things he thought of as novels. He couldn't sell them. By 1979 he'd somehow passed himself off as a journalist and was publishing in top-shelf magazines like Playboy, Outside, Saturday Review, and Vanity Fair. In 1982, Shames was named Ethics columnist of Esquire, and also made a contributing editor to that magazine. By 1986 he was writing non-fiction books whose critical if not commercial success first established his credentials as a collaborator/ghostwriter. His 1991 national bestseller, BOSS OF BOSSES, written with two FBI agents, got him thinking about the Mafia. It also bought him a ticket out of New York and a sweet little house in Key West, where he finally got back to Plan A: writing fiction. Given his then-current preoccupations, the novels--beginning with FLORIDA STRAITS--naturally featured palm trees, high humidity, dogs in sunglasses, and blundering New York mobsters. Having had the good fortune to find a setting he loved and a wonderfully loyal readership as well, Shames wrote eight Key West novels during the 1990s, before taking a decade-long detour into screenwriting and collaborative work. In 2013, he returned to his favorite fictional turf with SHOT ON LOCATION--a suspenseful and hilarious mix of Hollywood glitz and Florida funky. TROPICAL SWAP, Shames' tenth Key West novel, tells the riotous tale of a home exchange that sounds too good to be true, and is.