Phillip DePoy has written four mystery series with 17 titles, in addition to more than forty plays, two of which won Edgars. He was given the Georgia Author of the Year’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2015. His mystery protagonists include the historical Christopher Marlowe, contemporary private investigator Flap Tucker in Atlanta, folklorist Fever Devilin in Appalachian Georgia, and former car thief turned child protective services investigator Foggy Moscowitz in 1970s Florida.
Foggy made his debut in Cold Florida (Severn House, 2016) in a madcap tale that starts seriously enough. Foggy gets a call at 2:00 A.M. telling him a baby has been taken from the neonatal unit at the local Fry’s Bay hospital. Even worse, the baby was born to an addict mother and urgently needs treatment. Since the mother is also missing, Foggy goes to her apartment hoping to find both of them. He doesn’t but he does get enough leads to locate the baby in time to return her to the hospital for life-saving medication.
From there the story turns antic. Foggy learns the Seminole Nation is interested in the addict mother as well as her baby and has taken them to their village, the second time the baby has been taken from the hospital. He also hears that a hit man named McReedy is after him for reasons unknown. Foggy is further confused by the fact that members of the Seminole Nation are extending their protection to him, again for reasons unknown. The rest of the story involves Foggy’s quest to ensure the baby’s safety while staying away from McReedy.
This book made me burble with delight when I tried to describe it to someone else. The characters are works of art: fresh, relatable, and utterly enchanting. They include a Seminole tribal elder who gives unsuspecting Foggy a hallucinogenic tea with devastating results, a hit man who wears a tux as a disguise, a neighborhood donut maker and occasional thug, and a cross-dressing male stripper who loves babies and is the nicest person in the entire book. The history of the Seminoles in Florida is woven into the narrative, giving it another dimension. Several scenes are laugh out loud funny and the ending is deeply satisfying. Recommended.
Library Journal starred review.
· Publisher: Severn House Publishers; First World Publication edition (April 1, 2016)
· Language: English
· Hardcover: 224 pages
· ISBN-10: 0727885758
· ISBN-13: 978-0727885753
Aubrey Nye Hamilton ©2021
Aubrey Hamilton is a former librarian who works on Federal It projects by day and reads mysteries at night.