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Laurence Shames Books In Order

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Publication Order of Key West Mysteries Books

Florida Straits (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
Scavenger Reef (1994)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunburn (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tropical Depression (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Virgin Heat (1997)Description / Buy at Amazon
Mangrove Squeeze (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Welcome to Paradise (1999)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Naked Detective (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Shot on Location (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Chickens (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tropical Swap (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Key West Luck (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Strange Date (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
One Big Joke (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Nacho Unleashed (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Paradise Gig (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Key West Normal (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon
Relative Humidity (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon
Sunset Bluff (2024)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Bad Twin (As: Gary Troup) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Angels' Share (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Money Talks (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Big Time (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hunger for More (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Fade Away (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Living Large (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Lost Books

Endangered Species (By: Catherine Hapka) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Secret Identity (By: Catherine Hapka) (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Signs of Life (By: Frank T. Thompson) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Bad Twin (As: Gary Troup) (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

Natural Suspect(2001)Description / Buy at Amazon

Laurence Shames is one of the noteworthy authors of America who is famous for writing his novels based on the mystery, humor, thriller, and nonfiction genres. But, before going on to taste success in his writing career, he used to work in different jobs. Some of them included working as a taxi driver, furniture mover, dishwasher, shoe salesman, lounge singer, and lifeguard. When Laurence failed to make a name for himself in any of these professions he decided to turn towards writing full time in the year 1976. Since then, he has never done a day’s work other than writing. During the course of his writing career, author Laurence has published around 20 books and close to hundreds of articles and essays for various magazines. He is particularly well known for his critically acclaimed novel series titled the ‘Key West’ series. Besides that, he has also written several nonfiction works along with working as a ghostwriter and collaborator. Out of all the books that author Laurence has penned down, 4 have gone on to become New York Times bestsellers. Each one of them has appeared in 4 different lists, with different names, and not one of them belonging to him. This is a record in itself for author Laurence. He was born in Newark, New Jersey in the year 1951. He has said that his parents were chain smokers, but had flamboyant emotions.

Laurence went on to graduate with a summa cum laude from the New York University in the year 1972. He was even included in the Phi Beta Kappa house. Author Laurence’s alma mater and a number of honorary societies have tried many times to track his changing addresses for over a decade, but he has never thought of replying them even for once due to reasons best known to him. Author Laurence was sitting on an Italian beach during the summer of the year 1970, when he first heard his inner voice of becoming a writer. He was lonely, poor, and hungry at that time and noticed a couple on one side of the beach. Laurence did not take any notice of the man but found the woman to be extremely beautiful. He saw that the couple was enjoying a relaxing time and had a bottle of white wine with them. When they say author Laurence, he introduced himself to them as a writer. From that very moment, he decided that he is going to adopt writing as a career. Immediately, author Laurence started writing stories and several long descriptions that he considered to be novels. But, he could not sell any of them. By the year 1979, he had succeeded in becoming a journalist and began using his contacts to publish his works in popular magazines such as Playboy, Saturday Review, Outside, and Vanity Fair.

In the year 1982, he was promoted to the post of Ethics columnist for Esquire, after which he made some contributions as an editor of that magazine. By the year 1986, author Laurence had started writing nonfiction novels. His first national bestseller came in the year 1991 with the title ‘Boss of Bosses’. This novel was written with the help of a couple of FBI agents, who gave Laurence some ideas about the working of the Mafia. The success of the novel helped author Laurence to buy a small house in Key West. He even got a ticket to move out of New York for the first time. Author Laurence likes to spend most of his time at his house writing novels. Most of his books naturally feature high humidity, New York mobsters, palm trees, and dogs wearing sunglasses. The people of the town that he used to mention in the novels would not be afraid of the mobsters, and author Laurence has requested his readers to explore more such instances in his novels.

The Key West series written by author Laurence Shames consists of 11 books in total published between the years 1992 and 2015. The first book in this series was published under the title ‘Florida Straits’. It was released by the Dell publishers in the year 1992. The story of this book revolves around the characters Sal Giordano, Gino Delgatto, Joey Goldman, Zack Davidson, Vincente Delgatto, Don Giovanni, Charlie Pontw, etc. It is set in New York City in New York and Key West in Florida. At novel begins it is shown that Joey Goldman is moving south for spending the winter. He has decided to take his girlfriend Sandra along with him to Key West. There, he wishes to enjoy the cool breeze, surfing, and the sunny weather. Joey knew that the land was famous for allowing a small time hustler to score big while searching for a racket. Then, his half brother named Gino arrives onto the scene. He seems to be on the lam from a mob after a messed up jewel heist in which he was involved. Now, he is in desperate requirement of a fall guy. Knowing that Joey is Gino’s half brother, the mob comes after him. A ruthless Don from Miami is also after him for getting his uncut emeralds worth 3 million dollars. When Joey finds out that the don has sent his goons to obtain the emeralds from him, he tries to evade them. But first, Joey needs to find out where his emeralds are stashed. If he becomes successful in living long enough, he can become an unlikely hero who can kill the goons to save himself and his emeralds.

One of the other books in the series is titled as ‘Tropical Depression’. It was published by the Backprint publishers in the year 1996. This book includes Murray Zemelman, Franny Rudin, Joey Goldman, Tommy Tarpon, etc., as the main characters. At the start of the book, it is depicted that Murray Zemelman is a famous lingerie dealer. He seems to be in some sort of depression and decided to commit suicide. One morning, he sits in his car, hoping for the worst. Instead, he drives away, saying goodbye to his brassiere business, New Jersey streets, as well as his wife. Murray heads to the house of his first wife, named Franny, in Florida. He considered himself to be stupid enough to have left her several years ago. He intends to make a new start in Key West and meets a Native American named Tommy Tarpon. He comes to know that Tommy is also struggling with his life. Therefore, the two develop a plan for getting out of their miseries. With the help his business acumen and the ability of Tommy to deal with the government statues, Murray decided to enter into the gambling parlor. But, it appears to be a not so good idea to gamble in Key West. When other people come to know about the plan of Tommy and Murray, they also become interested in it. Then a local don makes an irresistible offer for both of them. All Murray had wished for was to get back into the life of his first wife, but he ends up endangering the lives of Tommy, his wife, and himself, all because of his gambling interest. He had not thought that his plan would backfire and they would end up in such a situation.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Laurence Shames

2 Responses to “Laurence Shames”

  1. Matty the Nomad: 9 months ago

    Having moved to Key West but forced to return back to the Midwest after Andrew. Lawrences books transported me back giving me sort of a dual residency while maintaining food for my soul.

  2. Patricia Fraser: 10 months ago

    I am late finding you, but love your characters and am binge listening on audio from a small island on the Canadian West Coast. Your writing style is great and I find myself winding back to relisten to something that makes me giggle. It Thanks so much !


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