Serge A. Storms, the mentally unstable serial killer, loves Florida. The history buff travels Florida in 21 books written by author Tim Dorsey, who has a particular fondness for South Florida and the Keys. Friday and Saturday, Dorsey will be back in the Keys signing his new book “The Pope of Palm Beach.”
In “The Pope of Palm Beach,” his main character Serge starts off on a literary journey from Key West, including popular sites like Ernest Hemingway and Tennessee William’s homes before traveling up the east coast to Riviera Beach, which happens to be Dorsey’s hometown.
“It’s a little off script,” said Dorsey. “But, I am obsessed with the Keys and started coming down here long before the books were in the thought process.”
He would stay at the $30 a night Southern Cross Hotel, drink his con leches from 5 Brothers, and grab a newspaper to read in the silence of the Key West cemetery. He even spent his honeymoon in Key West.
“Serge explores myths – some real and some I’ve made up – along the way,” said Dorsey, adding that Serge stops to check out the Sugarloaf Jumping Bridge on his journey up the Keys in “Pope.” “He had to stop there because my favorite book ’92 in the Shade’ by Thomas McGuane fishes from that bridge.”
On his other books, Serge has spent time at Old Wooden Bridge Fishing Camp and No Name Pub in Big Pine Key, the bat tower, and even Overseas Lounge in Marathon.
His first of three Keys stops will be at Key West Island Books. Owner Suzanne Orchard said this will be his 21st book signing at the store. Something Dorsey adds only a few places in Florida hold that kind of record. “He calls us every year right around Valentine’s Day,” she said. “And, if you know his books, they aren’t usually the romantic date night books. We love his sense of humor.”
The best part of the 21 books, is that they are set up more like “Law and Order,” rather than a soap opera. “All the books follow different story lines, so you aren’t missing anything if you start at the end, or start at the beginning,” said Dorsey.
The Weekly’s Kristen Livengood’s favorite Tim Dorsey anecdote: He was a guest speaker in one of my journalism classes at University of South Florida way back in 2005. He told the class he would write at the Tampa airport. “It was cheaper than renting an office, and had coffee and a bathroom,” he said. “I completely forgot about doing that. Now that the kids are older, I can write at home.”
“A long time ago, Timmy said ‘I will know I have made it when my picture is on the wall.’ He double checks it’s still here every time he comes in,” said Suzanne Orchard, Key West Island Books.
Catch Tim Dorsey and “The Pope of Palm Beach” here:
Friday, Feb. 16
Key West Island Books, 5 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 17
Marathon library, 2:30 p.m.
Hooked on Books, Islamorada, 4:30 p.m.