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South Florida: The Perfect Setting for a “Zany Thriller”



Jeff Lindsay, Joanne Sinchuk, and Elaine Viets at Murder on the Beach/ Alicia Zuckerman

The headlines from South Florida newspapers have provided fodder for many an author of the genre known as the “zany thriller:”  people like Carl Hiaasen, Edna Buchanan, and Vicki Hendricks. As writer Dave Barry says, South Florida inspires this kind of writing because things down here can get so weird.

Think unabashedly corrupt politicians, bales of cocaine falling from the sky, and dead bodies in unusual locations. Miami-Dade College literature professor Ariel Gonzalez calls this “troubling humor.”

Hosts Dan Grech and Alicia Zuckerman at Murder on the Beach./ Peter J. Maerz
Hosts Dan Grech and Alicia Zuckerman at Murder on the Beach/ Peter J. Maerz

Hosts Dan Grech and Alicia Zuckerman speak with Gonzalez about what makes a novel a “zany thriller.”  Then, listen to a discussion (by clicking on the player at the of this post) between our hosts and other experts on the genre:

Jeff Lindsay is the author of the Dexter series-yes, that Dexter–who is about to publish the fourth Dexter novel.

Elaine Viets is the author of the best-selling Dead-End Job series. She usually takes on the dead-end jobs of her characters as research for her novels.

Joanne Sinchuk is the founder of Delray Beach bookstore Murder on the Beach. (-T.S.)

florida-humantities-council-logo-thumbnailFunding for this episode was provided by a grant from the Florida Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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