Books Like Bad Monkey
Sunny weather and shady characters are the typical trademarks of Carl Hiaasen, the American crime fiction writer. Hiaasen also has a penchant for basing his stories in Florida while mixing in healthy doses of humor along with themes of environmentalism for his novels. His 2013 novel, Bad Monkey, is a favorite amongst his fans and features an murder mystery involving a human arm, twitchy widow, Bahamian voodoo witch, and a bad monkey. Carl Hiaasen has written a number of novels set in Florida that features convoluted plots, but if you have exhausted all of his books there are still a few other authors with similar styles. Check out these following books like Bad Monkey for more strange characters finding themselves caught up in strange situations.
by Dave Barry
Insane City by Dave Barry features the same humorous elements as Bad Monkey. There is the protagonist, Seth Weinstein, who finds himself in a situation that spirals disastrously out of control, a cast of strange characters, and even a love-struck orangutan. The story opens with Seth flying to Florida to marry his fiancée Tina, a rich, brilliant woman who is way out of his league. His wealthy father-in-law to be who is paying for the lavish wedding doesn't quite approve of Seth, which makes things rather tense. Then, Seth and his Groom Posse has a run in with a stripper, her angry boyfriend, and a cast of other strange characters that derails everything. This results in Seth embarking on rescue missions and much worse when he is supposed to be getting ready for his wedding.
by Tim Dorsey
Florida Roadkill is the first book in Tim Dorsey's long running Serge Storms series and is a must read for all Carl Hiaasen fans. The protagonist, Serge Storms, is a bit of a sociopath who becomes partner in crime with a heartless stripper and drug addict. It all begins with a simple plan to defraud an insurance company, but then a minor cocaine cartel becomes involved along with private investigators and bounty hunters. Then there's the simple matter of Serge and his companions growing tired of each other and resorting to lethal ways to deal with the problem. Florida Road Kill even features a couple of subplots that involve bikeless bikers, a perverted serial killer and other weird characters to ramp up the insanity even further.
by Lance Carney
The protagonist of Ripped Tide by Lance Carney is a hospital pharmacist named Daniel O'Dwyer caught up in what the author describes as a humorous take on a very serious issue. Daniel's fiancé passes away due to medical errors, which prompts him to escape to Oak Island, North Carolina for a fresh start. However, instead of the fresh sea air and fresh seafood that he craves, Daniel has an encounter with a jellyfish. This leads to a chain of events that sees the reluctant Daniel going undercover at a community hospital to investigate drug theft. Just like in Hiaasen's novels, Daniel encounters a cast of strange characters that include his socially imbalanced sidekick, a redneck with a Bob Marley tattoo and many others.
by Gregory Drew
Subtropical High by Gregory Drew is the story of two fishermen who can't believe their luck when they find 150 pounds of cocaine just drifting around in the Gulf Stream. Seeing as the drugs have a street value of over eight million dollars, the grungy duo are convinced that their financial woes are going to come to an end. Unfortunately for them, what was supposed to be a simple trip through Florida in their 1973 El Camino to rendezvous with the buyer becomes a lot more complicated. With everyone from a game warden turned eco-maniac to expatriate and destitute real estate developer crossing their path, the fishermen becomes hopelessly entangled in a very complicated mess. To make matters worse they don't have a lot of time to deal with all of these unsavory characters as a Category 5 hurricane is also heading for shore nearby.
by Bill H. Myers
Mango Bob by Bill H. Myers is the first book in his Mango Bob series, which is about a man named John Walker and his American Bobtail cat, Mango Bob. This book introduces readers to John, who is a bit down on his luck after losing his job and his wife filing for divorce. Bob ends up living in a tent by the river, but ends up swapping his truck for a motor home, which he plans on using on a cross-country trip to Florida to deliver a cat to a woman he's never met. It should be a simple job, but somehow Bob becomes involved in an unsolved murder that involves is mother home, the Mexican mafia, and a half million in missing coins. This is just the start of his problems, as it's not long before a trigger happy grandma, a team of burglars, repo man and more become involved.
by Mark Stone
Lucky Break by Mark Stone is the first book in his Lucky John Adventures series. The protagonist, John Lucky, is a former solder who lives up to his name, at least initially. John foils an armed robbery at a truck stop and wins the gratitude, as well as phone number of the cashier. It just happens that she gives him her number on a lottery ticket, which ends up being the winning number that nets him millions in cash. Thanks to this windfall John heads down to Florida with one of his army friends so that they can live the good life there. Unfortunately, this is where John's luck runs out as he unintentionally becomes part of a murder investigation that could land him in prison for a crime he didn't commit. Lucky is not just humorous, but also fast paced and action packed.