Bad Monkey

Carl Hiaasen returns to his native element in Bad Monkey, a mystery filled with dark comedy, morbid clues, corrupt land despoilers--er, developers--a dash of romance and a foul-tempered monkey.

Andrew Yancey's already lost his position with the Miami Police, and he's now about to lose his new job with the Monroe County sheriff's office, thanks to an ill-considered and widely witnessed act of violence involving his soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend's husband and a cordless vacuum cleaner. Demoted to health inspector, Yancey can barely eat after counting cockroaches all day. Oh, and let's not forget the disembodied arm in his freezer.

Allegedly, said arm became estranged from its owner due to a boat accident followed by a shark feeding frenzy, but Yancey's not buying it, especially not after the arm-owner's daughter tells him she thinks her stepmother murdered her father for his money. If he can solve a murder and bring the killer to justice, Yancey believes his commander will undo his demotion. His investigation, assisted by beautiful medical examiner Rosa Campesino, will take him from Florida to the Bahamas, where he'll meet a Bahamian struggling to save his beach from land developers, a toothless sex-crazed voodoo woman called the Dragon Queen and the eponymous bad monkey.

Calling a Hiaasen novel funny is like calling the ocean damp; the author continues to show off a twisted sense of humor unlike any other. Characters who choose to exploit nature receive their just deserts in ways straight out of an environmentalist's fantasies as Hiaasen's passion for wild Florida shines through once again, this time with an added note of empathy for the Bahamas. --Jaclyn Fulwood, youth services manager, Latah County Library District; blogger at Infinite Reads

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