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by Tim Dorsey

Pub Date: Nov. 1st, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-06-209284-7
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins

Multitasking maniac Serge Storms (Electric Barracuda, 2011, etc.) slows the flow when he concentrates on having a down-home Florida Christmas.

Roaring into Tampa, Serge has just two wishes: to become a family man like his old friend Jim Davenport, and to Take Christmas Big. And what better way to start than to return to Triggerfish Lane and move next door to good old Jim? Jim’s wife Martha is already stressed to the max by her mother-in-law’s annual holiday visit, complete with Mother Davenport’s generous gesture of wiping down the bathroom with bleach before using it. But the sight of Serge’s 1972 Chevelle pulling up at the curb drives excitable Martha’s anxiety to fever pitch, especially after her teenage daughter finds the newly minted family man a worthy role model. In Serge’s mind, no family is complete without its feminine side, so he beefs up his household, so far limited to his drug-addled pal Coleman, with the addition of City and Country, two chicks on the run since an incident in a Tuscaloosa bar. Now Serge can work on Taking Christmas Big, starting out by taking Country under the mistletoe and proving that a kiss isn’t just a kiss. Then there’s the 10-foot tree that almost fits through the front door and Coleman’s dope-laced gingerbread. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without presents, so Serge and Coleman, dressed as elves, head to the Tampa Mall to shop—and to discuss Martha’s Thanksgiving Day dust-up with mall security.

Although Serge is thinking big, Dorsey’s holiday gift is small, with his new, linear story line a mere shadow of his mayhem-filled priors.