Ordinarily, it would go the other way around. See, the book is supposed to come out first, and then the author goes on the book tour, doing the smiling-and-waving-and-isn't-this-grand? thing. But Tim Dorsey, author of Florida Roadkill, Triggerfish Twist, and other , manic novels of crime-filled Florida life, breaks with tradition when he arrives at Murder on the Beach (273 Pineapple Grove Way, Delray Beach) this Monday at 6:30 p.m.
"Joanne Sinchuk [Murder on the Beach's owner] has been a tremendous supporter since the very first book," Dorsey explains, "and the store is having an anniversary."
And so Dorsey has lined up to appear at Murder on the Beach to sign his year-old book, Stingray Shuffle, though his next novel in the continuing saga of psychotic yet oddly endearing protagonist Serge Storms, Cadillac Beach, hits the shelves on February 3.
"It's set in Miami Beach and Miami generally, in two time frames," Dorsey says of his upcoming book. "The present and 1964. Serge is in the current day, trying to solve the apparent murder of his grandfather in 1964. So, the flashbacks show his grandfather."
Anyone familiar with the books will be all too curious to see what horrible revenge Serge exacts on his grandfather's killers. His unique ways of executing people who annoy him -- one involving a key chain, a shotgun, and a space shuttle launch immediately springs to mind -- certainly keep a reader entertained. And with Serge's obsessive/compulsive need for Floridian trivia, you may even learn something too.
"What really solidified Serge was I had a ton of Florida information and fun trivia that I wanted the book to go into, but under normal circumstances, it was too much," Dorsey says. "But if you've got a nutcase, he can go anywhere he wants and rant in his little monologues. Works out great."
Admission to Murder on the Beach is free. Call 561-279-7790, or visit timdorsey.com. -- Dan Sweeney
Damn, dirty hippies
As usual these days, news of government oppression failed to make it into the national mainstream media in the aftermath of the FTAA meeting and the protests surrounding it, despite the fact that Miami was essentially turned into a police state, complete with police intimidation, false arrests, and plenty of beatings that the cops could brag about to their cop buddies in the days that followed. Whether the government's screwing you behind closed doors in Washington or to your face on the streets of Miami, it's apparently no longer the press' job to worry about it. Thank God for the alternative media.
Now, before you go thinking we're patting ourselves on the back here for our tremendous exposé of anarchists plotting to bring down the governor's conference, we should mention we're talking about Free Speech TV, which has already produced a documentary, Expression and Repression in Miami, on the Miami protests. Catch actual footage of the demonstrations and police clashes, along with interviews, at 7 p.m. Monday at Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale). Admission is $5. Call 954-525-3456. -- Dan Sweeney
Hollywood in black and white
Not many of us alive today remember a time when the concept of glamour included evening gowns during the day, perfectly coifed hair, and a come-hither stare. The 1920s were a golden time for cinema, captured in black and white, and Ruth Harriet Louise held the distinct honor of being the first female photographer ever to work in the Hollywood studio system. No small feat, considering how many stars she was able to capture on film during her time working for MGM, a studio with "more stars than there are in heaven." Her striking photos of icons such as Joan Crawford, Greta Garbo, and Buster Keaton, along with more than 80 others, are now on display at the Norton Museum of Art (1451 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach) in a display called "Ruth Harriet Louise and Hollywood Glamour Photography." Check it out before it ends on January 18. Call 561-832-5196. -- Audra Schroeder
Better in Plaid
Everyone loves boy bands, but the connotation has devolved into something more sinister as of late. These days, it's all about having a favorite "member." Who do you like best? J.T.? R.J.? What about Kip, or Lank, or Jessi -- the "bad boy"? But there was a time when boy bands were wholesome and sang about falling in love, going steady, and waiting until marriage. Forever Plaid tells the story of Frankie, Smudge, Jinx, and Sparky, otherwise known as the Plaids, a quartet of lounge singers on the way to their first gig at the airport Hilton in eastern Pennsylvania. Listen as the Plaids woo you with "Catch a Falling Star," "Three Coins in a Fountain," and "Crazy 'Bout Ya Baby." Make sure you scream for your favorite. Catch Forever Plaid at the Broadway Theatre (1455 SE 17th St., Fort Lauderdale) at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday. The final show is Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets cost $27 to $30. Call 954-522-0274. -- Audra Schroeder