Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Pick of the Month -- The Mango Opera
The Mango Opera by Tom Corcoran (first in the series)
Protagonist: Alex Rutledge
Setting: Key West, Florida
Corcoran's Mango Opera has struck all the right notes with me. A novel set in Key West is likely to do that, since you are guaranteed wacky characters and situations. But Corcoran goes beyond just mining the weirdness of Key West, vividly bringing out the character of the place -- and producing a fine, fast-paced mystery. Rutledge, a part-time crime scene photographer, is called out to a murder: his ex-girlfriend's roommate, who could have passed for a twin of the ex, has been murdered. Then, one by one, Rutledge's ex-girlfriends and ex-flings are either attacked or murdered (and, this being Key West, there are plenty of ex-partners). Rutledge would have been the likely suspect, except there are plenty of other suspects for him, the police and the FBI to consider -- even the last (maybe current?) girlfriend.
I am so glad to have found another great Florida writer. Corcoran has five more Alex Rutledge novels, so I have a feeling I'll be spending quite a bit more time in Key West, a nice rum drink in hand maybe.