- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 1441 KB
- Print Length: 318 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Write On The Water Press (26 Nov. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B003Z9JP36
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Customer reviews: 264 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #766,482 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Key Lime Blues (A Wes Darling Sailing Mystery Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 318 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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|Age Level: 18 - 18|
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A man who has been like a father to him, a stripper named Destiny and a police detective intent on finding the truth about a murder all get in the way-- along with a couple of wacky mobsters from Detroit.
This is a wild ride of a book, full of the flavor of the US's Southernmost City, aka Cayo Hueso, aka the Island of Bones. Jastrzebski constructs an intricate plot around his flawed hero, making you care about the characters as you're absorbing the island flavor and trying to figure out who the good guys and the bad guys are.
Neil Plakcy, author of In Dog We Trust
Top international reviews
Then there come the three women in his life, a fortune teller, two or three Runyonesque killers, a sack of diamonds, and a hard-boiled woman homicide detective and we're off and running until we come to the implausible, drawn-out last third of the book when I just couldn't wait to get to the end and get it over with.
I've read enough Mitch Rapp and Jack Reacher novels to have accepted the superhero who can swim underwater while holding his breath for 15 minutes and still have enough strength to dispatch 200 murderous bad guys with just a knife and a SIG sauer with a half-empty clip, but Wes Darling gets pistol whipped and kicked in the gut seven times and then I lost count and he didn't lose consciousness. There were a couple of times when I wish it was the other way around.
I will say this: Wes Darling has the greatest libido of any detective hero I've read about. He can and does have sex within 30 minutes of getting the snot beat out of him up to and including broken (or at least bent) ribs, getting kicked in the gut, AND a concussion.
I was drawn in and entertained until it just seemed that Jastrzebski was dragging it out like a term paper that had to be over 300 pages long. Spenser, Sam Spade, Dave Robicheaux, even Roger Rabbit would have wrapped this up by chapter 10. Mike Jastrzebski takes 33.
Will I buy another of his novels? Probably not, well not this year anyway.
Other than that, he is a very likeable guy and Destiny is the woman each man should have in his life at least once.
Wes is living a bottom feeding life in Key West, living on a sail boat, tending bar and avoiding his mother and the detective agency in Detroit his mother wants him to inherit. Unfortunately for Wes, his father figure/mother's lover is found dead on a Key West beach, and his mother demands Wes steps up to the plate and solve his death.
Wes and the other major characters are supremely drawn, the locale truly wafts from the page, and the humor and absurdity of the whole chase is wonderful.
Other reviewers have noted the novel's length, but it's not the length but that fact that a good editor could have fixed the last 1/4 of the book which seems to chase its tale for too long.
Even with that, Key West Blues is a good break from more cerebral mysteries which, to my taste, are often too full of themselves.
Mike Jastrzebski has written a fine, tongue-in-cheek debut with compelling characters, a romping narrative and just enough absurdity that most readers will not realize how much like Wes they really are. (Oh, myself included.)
West Darling is a pleasant-enough fellow, but he doesn't do much detecting. We know who stole the diamonds from close to the beginning. The murderer confesses, and Darling does nothing to obtain that.
I do not find the writing comparable to Hiassen for three reasons. First, these characters seem pretty much standard-fare to me. Hiassen's characters are loopy originals I can remember years after reading the books, such as the killer with a weed-cutter prosthetic. Second, Hiassen uses his plots to skewer our state and local corrupt politics. Third, Hiassen grew up here and has a gift for evoking the urban and natural environments.
While other reviewers found the writing did a good job of representing the Keys, my evaluation standards are set by James W. Hall for this area and James Lee Burke for New Orleans and the parishes. Burke, in particular, writes so poetically that I don't mind when overly-complicated plots have unsatisfactory resolutions. This book mentions various things -- the carnival atmosphere as the sun sets -- but I found it more like reading a guide book than evocative of mood and place.
I respectfully take exception to describing Wes Darling as a bottom-feeder, as one reviewer has done, because he tends bar and lives on a boat. Throughout the Caribbean, people fleeing so-called normal lifestyles pursue jobs others might consider marginal, their art, and a natural, outdoorsy way of living. I define bottom-feeder as someone who uses others: Wes is not a gigolo, does not run prostitutes, borrow money recklessly, hang out in casinos or at race tracks hoping for the big score and easy money. We have plenty of these types here, too. He is just a guy who doesn't want to be a detective nor be forced into that family business by his overbearing mother.
I was disappointed by two plot outcomes. First, a gentle character who might have been developed in future books is needlessly murdered. This does not add to the story. Second, Darling's romance doesn't work out, and I was rooting for the couple.
The book is well-written, without the many editing errors I find in so many books I download free, as it was when I got it.
It is a pleasant enough read, especially if you are looking for South Florida fare. I would not make an effort to read more by this writer.
is well written, except it is too drawn out. They use the death of the girl in the previous case Wes worked on to justify why he is not so quick to call in the cops. Say what!!?? Then if this is the case, and I don't think this holds true, why is Wes always being told by his mother he is such a great detective..."a natural"? It just does not figure. The plot is fantastic, except again for the drawn out novel. The ditzy stripper is okay as the villain, but again, why let her run wild as long as the author chose to?
Now the title says Book 1. You're kidding me right? Our main character sailed off into the sunset, after having told his mother he did not want any part in detective work, with another woman. A tad indecisive aren't we?
Our main character is Wes Darling. He is a private detective who left that line of work because he could not reconcile himself with his last case and the death of a girl he was supposed to find. At the opening, we find him bartending in a bar owned by Tanya whom he secretly likes.
Then we have "Destiny", AKA Gail Bernard. I will call her the psycho stripper. Well educated, likes fast money, and uses her body to get what she wants.
Then there is Tanya. She owns the bar where Wes works and is a childhood friend of Destiny.
Truth be told, I can relate to Destiny and Tanya before I can relate to Wes. Wes needs some therapy. He seems guilt ridden at all the wrong times.
You will notice I have just mentioned the basics here. I really don't want to write much as I don't want to taint how you feel about reading the book. What I have written above, could well be because I have come to expect certain things from authors. One of my pet peeves is the drawn out story. In fact, it is a big peeve.
This can be a very exciting story if you can get past the drawn out part. I personally have gotten used to the entire book being fast acting. I will admit that I did stop my crafts for about 1/3 of the book. That 1/3 was at the end.
It is a fast read that is filled with light banter when the hoods aren't hunting down the protagonist and his charge. The lead character, Wes Darling, is a guy who explains that, when he worked for his mother's PI firm, his drug of choice was Prozac, but since moving to Key West amidst quitting the business, found that key lime pie works just as well. He just never felt comfortable with dealing with the deceit, the dead bodies, and the cops. He was also haunted by a case he was involved in where a fifteen-year-old kidnap victim met her demise. According to his mother, he was "the result of a wild weekend in Acapulco with a Vietnam vet who suffered from posttraumatic stress disorder."
Wes' mother is also an intriguing character with a deep, raspy voice, the product of smoking three packs of cigarettes a day, and can swear "like a sailor doused in rum."
The missing stripper here is Destiny, a six-foot tall red-headed Amazon who Wes couldn't possibly forget. She might be gorgeous, but she was also a little nuts, that is, if you think leaving a set of diamonds with a psychic who fancied himself as the return of Elvis nuts.
All in all, it is an enjoyable read and rather light-hearted for a detective story involving hoods and bullets and murders and beatings. Although there are places where the writing could have been tighter and more focused, the author does a fine job of telling his story and conveying the atmosphere of Key West and the kooky characters that inhabit the area.
Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
Wes is living in Key West and is determined to find out who killed Nick. As he searches for Nick's killer, he runs into a Mafia boss who Destiny, a prostitute, has ripped off. Destiny is Tanya's friend and Wes is interested in getting to know Tanya better, so he becomes involved with Destiny. She takes him on a wild and dangerous journey. And so begins the race around Key West for the answers.
When things get really bad for Wes, a piece of key lime pie helps put it right.
It has a surprise ending that I didn't see coming.
The cover caught my eye and I really liked the title. As soon as I read the first sentence I knew I was going to like it. The writing made it easy and fun to read. I read it in one sitting. Entertaining and lively summertime reading.
Key Lime Blues: A Wes Darling Mystery
That all goes to hell when he learns that his mentor's body was found on the island. Despite his refusal to come back to the agency, Wes agrees to wrap up Nick's last case. Easy peasey until he meets the crazy woman he's supposed to send back to her boyfriend.
If you like noir, you'll like this story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good story with no real good guys and everything is in dark shades of gray.
Nick's mother is coming down and will handle the case since Wes refused to. He's done with being a P.I. but after he discovers the client Frank Szymanski use to be a hit man for the mob, he's going to do it. He doesn't want his mother involved in that.
Frank wants to find his girlfriend who walked out on him. His girlfriend Destiny, however, is a good friend of Wes' boss Tanya, the owner of Dirty Alvin's, the bar where Wes bartends and Tanya wants Wes to tell his client that he couldn't find her. Wes doesn't need a guy who was associated with the mob on his bad side.
One reader says that the author writes in a breezy sarcastic tone. Another reviewer said it's fast-paced. Hmph, both were lost on me.
I guess I liked Key Lime Blues pretty much; Destiny a/k/a Gail probably made the story.
The book is well written. The mother is an unformed character - cutting her presence would not hurt the story at all. She could have stayed at home and played her part. Does the book have a happy ending? It's not unhappy, just not idyllic. Most of the characters you'll like live. Would I read more by this author? Yes.
That one flaw (in my eyes, at least) isn't sufficient to mar the enjoyment of the book. In a way, Darling's ineptitude makes him more likeable...even if you're hoping he has really good medical insurance.