Miami, on the other hand, don’t want it either. It doesn’t match any known victim, it was found outside their jurisdiction, and the currents probably wouldn’t have carried anything originating in or near Miami to the Keys, which, basically is why Yancy ends up with a human arm alongside the Popsicles in his freezer.

Oh, and the shark teeth embedded in the flesh are from an inshore variety that doesn't frequent the area where the arm was found.

The trip to Miami, however, hasn’t been a complete waste of time since it put him into contact with pathologist Dr. Rosa Campesino, who has a penchant for hot sex on a cold mortuary slab kinky sex in locations like slabs. 

Meanwhile it seems Bonnie, his former girlfriend, who still seems to have the hots for Yancy, is really Plover Chase, a Tulsa English teacher who’s on the run after being convicted of extorting sex from one of her students in exchange for giving him an A on his report card

Hiaasen novels tend towards the ornate when it comes to unusual subplots.

Yancey’s investigation has him moving back and forth between Key West, Miami and the Bahamas, which is where he meets the eponymous Bad Monkey, a nasty little creature named Driggs who’d been the official “Rally Monkey of the Los Angeles Angels” but lost the gig after a scrotum-grooming reverie, broadcast live on the stadium Jumbotron.

Sold off to a freelance animal wrangler, he’s ended up in the Bahamas as a backup to another, more docile simian, on one of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies but a repeat of the execrable antics that had cost him the Angels gig saw him sold for seventy-five Bahamian dollars to a sponge fisher who passed him on to a gullible fisherman named Neville Stafford.

Living on a diet of batter-fried chicken, conch fritters and coconut cakes, Driggs loses most of his hair and is traded to voodoo priestess the Dragon Queen when Neville needs a spell cast on the property developer who’s managed to bump him off his property, which is about to become part of a timeshare resort.

The property developer appears to be Stripling’s widow’s new boyfriend, which, of course, adds to the suspicions about her husband’s death, and that’s about as far as we can go without crossing over into spoiler territory. 

Bad Monkey mightn’t be Hiaasen at his best (I had a feeling all the way through that I’d enjoyed other titles more, but nothing concrete to base that suspicion on) and might lack the outrageousness that lands on the page as soon as The Skink appears on the scene but it’s still a wickedly funny read where the good guys, despite everything outrageous fortune and the weather can throw up against them, ultimately prevail.

You knew they would, of course, and though the outcome isn’t really in doubt it’s the journey that delivers the reader there that makes a Hiaasen novel an ingenious entertainment.


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