Review by Nora K.

Get your copy of Mermaid Confidential here

Disclaimer: There is a lot of swearing, violence, and entertainment in this book.

Synopsis: Serge A. Storms and his permanently baked sidekick, Coleman, have decided to pump the brakes and live on island time. After years of manic road-tripping across their beloved Sunshine State, the irrepressible anti-heroes drop anchor in the Florida Keys to study a unique slice of native culture. They settle down in Pelican Bay, a thriving condo complex with scenic views and friendly neighbors. But all is not perfect in paradise. In between board games and potluck dinners, the community is beset by an endless cast of scammers, scumbags, scofflaws and inconsiderate renters who track fish juice down the halls. Naturally Serge takes it upon himself-in his own signature ways-to restore tranquility and he quickly becomes a local favorite.

Meanwhile, the island chain’s long and rich smuggling heritage is causing mayhem. Gang friction heats up when a local drug lord passes the family business to his young, enterprising son, and the ideal lives of the sun-loving residents hang in the balance.

Luckily, Florida’s most lovable serial killer is there to help!

Review: Mermaid Confidential was one heck of a read. There were parts of it that were seemingly so random with madcap adventures that were extremely amusing. I was rooting for the crazed vigilante, Serge, and his perpetually high and drunk sidekick, Coleman, the whole time. It’s surprising that a fictional serial killer could be so delightful, but somehow Serge is just that.

“Coleman! After him!

The pair ran across the parking lot. But it was slow going because they were both inside taped-together cardboard boxes that wrapped around their waists to form a cute little Romper Room car. It was painted blue.

From Mermaid Confidential by Tim Dorsey

I simply adored Serge and Coleman. They are such zany and interesting characters, it was a wild ride having insight on their activities and means of justice. Oh yes, I said justice because Serge, while being a serial killer, has his own moral code that he follows and he kills anyone that violates it. The above quote is a method by which Serge went about extracting justice but I won’t explain it for fear of depriving future readers the enjoyment of reading that mishap themselves.

List of things that violate Serge’s moral code:

  • People that upset his neighbors (at risk of losing spaghetti and meatball game night) 
  • People that upset his friends (but they’ll get a chance to be on a gameshow for it!)
  • Inflated medical bills
  • Shifty looking people taking pictures of the Cafe 90 rooster (only he can take pictures of the rooster)
  • People that hurt kids (it’s distasteful)
  • Speeding up (Serge and Coleman are trying to slow down, dammit)

An important thing to note before picking up this book, is that it’s set in Florida and generally speaking, a lot of crazy stuff happens in Florida. Mermaid Confidential, while being fictional, gives an accurate portrayal of Florida’s history and certain eccentricities (such as the drug smuggling).

I recommend this book to anyone that needs a fast-paced read or a good laugh. I would say due to the violence and swearing that middle schoolers might not be the best audience, but it’s perfect for teens in high school. I really took a lot of joy from reading this book and would rate it four out of five stars.

Rating: 4/5

Genre: Mystery/Comedy/Fiction