Book Review: “Clownfish Blues” by Tim Dorsey

Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey

It’s February, so it must be time for another story about Serge and Coleman!

This is the twentieth novel in this memorable series. It is, as Dave Barry once said, part of the “bunch of South Florida Whackos” genre, from yet another former journalist, like Barry and Hiaasen.

These stories feature twisted humor based on actual events in Florida. Dorsey’s humor isn’t especially sophisticated, and earlier books featured some extremely gruesome events (that is actually the whole point). In recent years, he has toned down the violence, and eliminated the details. I suspect he does not want to inspire copy cats.

This episode sees Serge driving around in a silver Corvette, revisiting locations in Florida that appeared in the last season of the TV show, Route 66. It’s TV, so who cares that Route 66 doesn’t go anywhere near Florida?

The story also follows Brook and Reevis who we met in earlier books. These youngsters are just trying to live a sane and moral life (maybe together—we’ll have to see if it works out). But Brook is an attorney, and she actually cares. Worse, Reevis wants to be an actual journalist, which is not really a job any more.

Needless to say, there are a whole bunch of Florida Whackos, viscous and harmless. Gangsters (trying to fix the lottery), worm grunting (with moonshine), sleazy reality show TV crews (with handheld cameras), competing Korean beauty parlors (with lasers), and even Furries.

This is what we expect from Dorsey, and he delivers.

  1. Tim Dorsey, Clownfish Blues, New York, HarperCollins, 2017.


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