The Book

“Move over, Carl Hiaasen! This brilliantly funny romp through the ‘real’ Miami will have you howling with laughter and booking your trip to South Beach. You’re gonna love it!” – Michael Levin, Author of Soft Target

Everybody in Miami’s heard of the Century Club, but most folks don’t know it’s still there. In its heyday, the Club’s legendary Everglades Room was the place to find everyone who was anyone. From Ava Gardner to Izzy Fine, their pictures still line the walls.

Long forgotten, the Club’s slumbered for decades in subtropical decay by Biscayne Bay. Now, it’s been awakened by a local building boom and everybody’s scrambling for a piece of the action, in this place where the sun, surf and skin barely disguise the fact that the real action is about the dirt – buying and selling it over and over again.

Lawyer Benjy Bluestone couldn’t care less. Unlike most locals, he doesn’t dream of becoming a real estate baron. Son of a renowned land-use attorney, Benjy’s spent years trying to get out from under his father’s long shadow. He thinks selling ever-smaller slices of paradise to the next wave of newcomers is something like a Ponzi scheme, where promoters pay extravagant returns to early investors with money from later investors. A  former client, Walter Marsh, owns the Century Club. Walter has a soft spot for classic rock and strippers (been married to two). Benjy represented him in his third divorce.

Driving to a funeral, Benjy runs into and almost over beautiful realtor Delia Torres, newly arrived from New Jersey, where her branch of the family fled from Cuba. He’s infatuated at once. She’s skeptical, at best.

Whip smart, with a Princeton education and legs up to here, Delia’s on her way to present Walter Marsh with an offer for the Century Club from Chuck Steinberg, rising civic leader and venture capitalist. Chuck bankrolls the political fortunes of Delia’s uncle, Oscar Torres, padron and mayor of Bayview, who’s under orders to deliver the club, so Chuck can level it and build a spectacular mixed-use, hotel-condo temple in the sky called Miramonte del Sol.

Delia’s shocked when Walter tells her he’s already optioned the Club to eccentric developer Wooly Johnson and his Mastodon Partners from Houston, but remains determined to get her piece of the deal, no matter who buys the Club. After she gives Uncle Oscar the bad news, strange things start happening.

First, a little-known civic group sues to enjoin all development, arguing the Club should be designated a historic site and granted landmark status. Oscar’s driver and bodyguard, Rico Figueroa, recruits the civic group’s members the old-fashioned way – with money – paying them to fill the courtroom at an emergency injunction hearing the next day.

What happens next involves spirits, spells, skateboards, kung fu, car wrecks, football, phobias, fetishes, wooden flutes, pet rabbits, vintage aircraft and more legal action, as Oscar and Chuck try to turn anyone else’s deal for the Club into “something so ugly the tide won’t take it out.” Racing to solve the puzzle before they run out of time, Benjy and Delia join forces on the road to Opa-locka, where an explosive secret threatens to blow the deal sky high.

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