RANDY WAYNE WHITE – The Heat Islands. St. Martin’s, hardcover, 1992; paperback, February 1993.

   I’d been unaware of White’s books until the ladies at The Mystery Bookstore here very kindly loaned me the advance proofs of the current offering. The first in the series, Sanibel Flats, evidently didn’t make it to my local library branch, and I somehow missed seeing it reviewed.

   Ford is a marine biologist with his own small biological supply company, operated out of a stilt house on Sanibel Island, Florida, that is both home and laboratory. All told, it’s the laid-back good life.

   As we begin, the most hated man on the barrier islands is found floating face down in Dinkin‘s Bay. He was the owner/operator of the local marina, and had alienated enough people that suspects were in plentiful supply. One of Doc’s friends, a fishing guide, quickly becomes the prime suspect, but Doc doesn’t believe it, and begins his own investigation. An oddball relationship with a lady tennis pro enlivens things somewhat.

   You know, I just can’t think of a whole lot to say about this one. I enjoyed reading it, in a mild sort of way; White writes adequately enough; Old Doc is a decent enough leading man; there really wasn’t anything to gripe about, so why aren’t I more positive? I don’t know, but I’m not.

   Good enough for checking out of the library, but I’m glad I didn’t buy it.

— Reprinted from Fireman, Fireman, Save My Books #3, September 1992.