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Tropical Depression (Key West #4)

3.80  ·  Rating Details  ·  490 Ratings  ·  35 Reviews
Murray Zemelman—lingerie mogul, a.k.a. the Bra King—wakes up one morning, starts his car in the confines of his airtight garage, and contemplates the worst. But instead of doing himself in, he pops a Prozac and hits the road, waving good-bye to his trophy wife, the thriving brassiere business, and the streets of New Jersey for good. He's headed to Florida, home of his firs ...more
Paperback, 360 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by (first published 1996)
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(showing 1-30 of 925)
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Mike French
Feb 16, 2014 Mike French rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My first Laurence Shames novel and I guarentee it won't be my last. Laurence Shames writing is in the tradition of my Favorite Florida authors-Carl Hiaasen,Paul Levine and Tim Dorsey. I found it a bit darker than other 3 authors, but very enjoyable read!
May 05, 2013 Judi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2000
Oy! It's January and bitterly cold up here in the Northeast. Perfect time to settle into a slapstick caper novel that takes place in Key West. And that, in a nutshell, describes Laurence Shames's style of writing.
Murray Zemmelman, the famous lingerie mogul, otherwise known as the Bra King, sits in his garage in his running Lexus trying to decide if he's going to work or committing suicide. Suddenly he's got a strong will to live, so much so that he can't even wait for the garage door to complete
Adam Wiggins
Nov 03, 2012 Adam Wiggins rated it liked it
A fun and easy-to-ready little story that manages to be smart despite the goofy and bumbling characters.

The best part, by far, was the writing. The author manages vivid descriptions of the mundane, for example:

"The glare became a glow that caressed objects and displayed them proudly."

Or metaphors like:

"His high spirits were extremely fragile, less a part of him than an overlay, a cheery suit of clothes that could at any moment detach itself and walk away without him."

Plus an incisive perspective
Aug 26, 2015 William rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book had some good "one liners" and a few funny passages, but was rather dumb overall. A little too "sweet" in places and the ending was predictably schmaltzy. Interesting characters but so similar to characters from other books about South Florida to be almost stereotypes. In fact the book seemed very much like several others that I have read that I wondered if I was repeating. But no, just very similarly themed!
This book didn't tax my brain, but it was entertaining. There were some great lines and scene set-ups, but there were also a few poorly chosen descriptive adjectives that should have been edited out. Overall, an amusing read. Murray and Tommy made a great pair, and the sleazy state senator and the mob boss played their parts well. Very satisfying ending, though much is left to the reader's imagination.
Ashley Lombardo
Feb 25, 2014 Ashley Lombardo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tropical Fun!

Of all the Laurence Shames novels I have read so far, this is one of the most fun and lighthearted. Murray and Tommy make the perfect odd couple.
Paul O'Grady
Jul 21, 2014 Paul O'Grady rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is a fun beach read. The characters are just plain fun. I loved the way Shames weaves n the players from his early Key West stories. Not great literature, but a fun ride nonetheless.
Theodore Kinni
Jan 20, 2016 Theodore Kinni rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
Very fast and funny read set in Key West. Reminds me of Carl Hiaasen's books and Jimmy Breslin's The Gang That Couldn't Shoot Straight.
Mark Vargo
Jan 04, 2015 Mark Vargo rated it liked it
Beach read, but a good one. Enough twists to make it interesting. Not here for character development.
Judging by the cover of this book I was expecting a funny over the top Florida story and, while it had some of those elements, it also had a bit of a darker edge.
Feb 14, 2016 Jeanine rated it really liked it
A fun read, to precede my trip to Key West!
Finished it in one day. Made me laugh.
Feb 08, 2014 Joey rated it it was amazing
The perfect beach read, even though I read it in 40 degree freezing rain.
Jan 21, 2016 Allan rated it liked it
2.5 stars
(E) This wasn't the best book, but it was fun to read this while I was in Key Largo.
Jan 14, 2008 Susan rated it it was amazing
Murray Zemelman is the Bra King of Manhattan and one day he gets into the car and drives to Key West, Florida. Maybe he'll learn to fish. Soon he's caught up in Indian rights to sacred grounds. Only Shames could pull this kind of plot off with any credibility and he does. When you look up the word "character" in the dictionary, you see a picture of the people in his books. If you've never met Bert the Shirt and his little dog, go find a Shames and treat yourself. Even if it is set in Florida.
Nov 28, 2015 Kathy rated it really liked it
I've read it before but this time it was better.
May 13, 2015 Laurah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Bonnie Irwin
May 23, 2012 Bonnie Irwin rated it liked it
An entertaining little novel, replete with an "Indian," a mob boss, the requisite corrupt politician, and of course the "Bra King." Nice local touches as well. An amazing number of books seem to feature someone who wants to get away from it all and move to the keys.
Oct 05, 2012 Dawnie rated it really liked it
This is the first book I've read of Laurence Shames and I must say that he is quite entertaining! Sort of a cross between a Tom Corcoran and a Carl Hiassen. Great story, entertaining characters and a story set in Key West. Gotta love it!
Sep 28, 2012 Lisa rated it it was ok
Ugh. I can't make myself read this. Another loser. The plot seems promising, but something about the writing makes me want to keep putting this one down. I got about 1/3 of the way through, but I can live without knowing how it ends.
Richard Katz
Loved this book! Lawrence Shames is drop dead funny, which is enough reason to read his works. This is my favorite so far. But there's more. His characters are credible, likeable, and his plots move. I dunno, is there more?
Mar 21, 2011 Jim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entertaining "Florida" novel, good plot, lots of humor and drama, colorful characters. Perfect for fans of the numerous great Carl Hiassen novels. An easy read.
Nov 17, 2012 Rebekkila marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I registered a book at!
Mike Harper
Sep 05, 2013 Mike Harper rated it liked it
This seems to be an imitation of Hiasen's bppks, but it's not nearly as well done. Still, if you need to laugh at Florida, it's OK.
Jun 03, 2012 Wanda rated it liked it
As usual it was filled with zany mobsters and crazy northern transplants to Florida. Still love Bert and his dog.
Mar 15, 2015 J rated it liked it
It was an ok story, I was looking something a little more Hiassen, but characters grew on me as I read.
Jeff Yoak
All in all, an ok book. It was amusing, if less so than some earlier Shames, and good as a thriller.
Dec 23, 2008 Gigi rated it liked it
Just finished in FLA and it was a great vacation book. I like the quirky Key West stories. Made me smile.
Nov 26, 2013 Jack rated it liked it
It was OK. Made me smile a few times. Characters were OK. Not sure I'd read another book by Shames.
Feb 16, 2008 David rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, humor, audio-book
I wish we had a First Lady like this one.
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Laurence Shames has been a New York City taxi driver, lounge singer, furniture mover, lifeguard, dishwasher, gym teacher, and shoe salesman. Having failed to distinguish himself in any of those professions, he turned to writing full-time in 1976 and has not done an honest day’s work since.

His basic laziness notwithstanding, Shames has published twenty books and hundreds of magazine articles and es
More about Laurence Shames...

Other Books in the Series

Key West (1 - 10 of 12 books)
  • Florida Straits (Key West, #1)
  • Scavenger Reef (Key West, #2)
  • Sunburn (Key West, #3)
  • Virgin Heat (Key West, #5)
  • Mangrove Squeeze (Key West, #6)
  • Welcome to Paradise (Key West, #7)
  • The Naked Detective (Key West, #8)
  • Shot on Location (Key West, #9)
  • Tropical Swap (Key West, #10)
  • Chickens (Key West, #10.5)

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