Book 2, Miami Jones Florida Mystery Series
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"Put Spenser and Travis McGee together, and you have Miami Jones... I don't mean to suggest that AJ Stewart is the next coming of Robert Parker or John D. MacDonald. It's way too early for that. But he's off to a good start." - Reader review for the Miami Jones series.
What is the price of winning at all costs?
A university president with delusions of grandeur. A property developer with mob ties. A crooked politician fast-tracking projects for cash. Just another day in South Florida.
When Miami Jones is hired by an old college friend to investigate the drug overdose of a star student-athlete, he is thrust into the dark intersection of academia, politics and the Miami drug world, where he finds himself fighting to not just solve the crime, but to save those he loves most.
Q&A with the Author
Q: Why a Florida mystery series? A: A lot of things came together to make the series happen. Of course I always loved Florida mystery novels, there’s a whole lineage of them. And all those crazy Florida adventures of and Mssrs Hiaasen and Dorsey and co. My family moved to the Sunshine State, and everything about the place made me want to create a bunch of fun loving characters. The kinds of people you’d love to share a beer with, in a casual place with a plate of smoked fish dip. But the kinds of folks who live by their convictions - salt of the earth you might say. There’s a lot of folks like that in Florida, along with more whack jobs per square miles than anywhere I’ve ever been. Q: Who is Miami Jones? Is he you? A: He’s not me, let’s start there. He’s got a bucket load more bravado than me. But he’s a thinker. His baseball career didn’t define him, but it did help form him, and I wanted to explore that side of it - the fact that most college sportsmen and women don’t go pro, and those that do mostly don’t last, and somehow that gets looked on as a sad thing. Miami doesn’t believe it is. Pro sports taught Miami to fake it until you make it, but at the same time to never believe your own press. Mostly he doesn’t. He’s too cheeky by half, but don’t we all like the idea of serving up a good one liner when we don’t really have the guts to do it? He’s not one of these private investigators who shoot to kill without repercussions. He feels bad when he acts bad, but it doesn’t stop him doing it if required. Q: Is he a hard boiled detective? A: I call him soft boiled. It’s what happens to normal people when left out in the Florida sun. He calls them as he sees them, but he’d never call his girlfriend a dame. She’d tear him a new one if he did. Q: There’s a sports theme in the series. Is it a men’s adventure? A: Yes and no. Lots of ladies enjoy sports so that doesn’t mean anything. But the sports are infused in Miami’s thinking, rather than being pervasive in the stories. More than half of my readers on my email list are women, so it might be a men’s adventure, but it’s not just for male readers. Q: Speaking of women, Miami’s girlfriend knows how to handle him. A: That she does. I hate those stories and movies where the 'love interest' is nothing more than someone to serve the martinis. Danielle is Miami’s equal in every way. She’ll out think him most days, and she even has his measure in most physical endeavors. But she’s still a woman, so she doesn’t see the world in the same way as Miami and 'the boys'. And that’s a good thing. Q: Will we see her in her own private eye series? A: No. For a start, she’s not a gumshoe, she’s a sheriff’s deputy. She believes in the rule of law and doing things by the book. Mostly. Danielle would be in a police procedural, and I’m not sure that’s somewhere I want to go. But I like her, so maybe one day she’ll have a wicked sister who becomes a bounty hunter. On second thought, Janet already did that.
Another Miami Jones winner
A.J. Stewart gives a good run for the money on fellow Florida 'mystery with humor' writers with his main character Miami Jones leading the way. Great dialogue, well thought out plot that keeps you interested from start to finish. Girlfriend Danielle and sidekick Ron are just as well crafted as Miami, I’d have a drink with any of them, any time. Looking forward to the next book.
If you don't like mysteries and sports mixed in then you won't like A.J. Stewart's books. But I love them. This is my third one and I am going to buy another one as soon as I finish this review. Does that tell you that his books are well written and keeps you engrossed in the story.
If you are in doubt, try one of his free books. But of course you will be hooked!
Read Offside Trap in one sitting!
Another great story about Miami, PI extraordinaire! Definitely pay attention to this book as you read it - sometimes I reread paragraphs to really get what was written. Some deep thoughts to contemplate, and lots of humor and play on words. Miami and his mates are sharp cookies, and the storylines are so well written and detailed; it's amazing so many strands are woven together and you don't see what's coming next! A modern mystery with a feeling of "noir" thrown in for good measure. Fabulous series so far; looking forward to more of Miami!