Morris, Bob 1950-

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MORRIS, Bob 1950-

PERSONAL: Born 1950; married Deborah Hardwick; children: Bo, Dash. Education: Attended University of South Carolina; University of Florida, B.S.

ADDRESSES: Home—Winter Park, FL. Agent—Joe Veltre, Artists Literary Group, 27 W. 20th St., Ste. 1003, New York, NY 10011. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Florida Key Free Press, editor; Fort Myers News-Press, reporter and columnist, until 1986; Orlando Sentinel, Orlando, FL, columnist, 1986–94; founder of Aqua magazine, beginning 1997; former editor of Caribbean Travel & Life (magazine), 1999, and Gulfshore Life (magazine), until 2002; freelance writer, 2002–.

AWARDS, HONORS: Ernie Pyle Award for Human-interest Writing in America, Scripps-Howard Foundation; finalist, Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best First Mystery Novel, Mystery Writers of America, 2004.

WRITINGS:

True Floridians, and Other Passing Attractions (essay collection), Soggy Cracker Press (Fort Myers, FL), 1981.

Iron Nekkid and You'll Always Get Burned (essay collection), middleword by Dave Barry, Sentinel Books (Orlando, FL), 1992.

Bahamarama (mystery novel), St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY), 2004.

Jamaica Me Dead (mystery novel), St. Martin's Minotaur (New York, NY) 2005.

Also author of essay collection Greetings from Florida. Contributor to National Geographic Traveler, Robb Report, Bon Appetit, Men's Fitness and Islands. Author of "Sunday at Bob's" column for Florida magazine.

WORK IN PROGRESS: A third mystery novel, Bermuda Schwartz, due 2006.

SIDELIGHTS: After publishing several essay collections, former Orlando Sentinel columnist Bob Morris began writing mystery novels, each set on a different Caribbean island. His series started with Bahamarama, which takes place on Harbour Island, Eluethera, and continues with Jamaica Me Dead. Morris is a fourth-generation Floridian, and his travels have included time spent in the Caribbean while editor of Caribbean Travel & Life magazine. He credits his experiences on a kibbutz shoveling up the mess made by chickens and turkeys as his inspiration for becoming a journalist.

Bahamarama introduces readers to Zack Chasteen, a former defensive back for the Florida Gators and Miami Dolphins. However, Zack has been in prison for almost two years, having been set up on counterfeiting charges by a man named Victor Ortiz. Upon his release, Chasteen hopes to reunite with his girlfriend, a magazine publisher named Barbara. The limousine ride that should have taken him to her side proves to be another set up, however, and he is abandoned without any money or identification. While Chasteen manages to elude Ortiz's thugs, he learns that Barbara has been kidnapped and her ex-fiancée has been murdered. He enlists the help of a former teammate who is now a police inspector, but Hurricane Curt's approach to the problem only makes a bad situation worse.

A Publishers Weekly reviewer described Bahamarama as a "hard-boiled, edgy debut," adding that its "juicy plotting keeps this impressive page-turner simmering." Library Journal critic Rex E. Klett enjoyed the "amazing characters" and "unremitting wry humor" in Morris's debut, while Booklist contributor Connie Fletcher identified Chasteen as "a fresh, true voice and a lode of comic cynicism."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2004, Connie Fletcher, review of Bahamarama, p. 69.

Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2004, review of Bahamarama, p. 840.

Library Journal, September 1, 2004, Rex E. Klett, review of Bahamarama, p. 121.

Publishers Weekly, September 20, 2004, review of Bahamarama, p. 47.

ONLINE

Bob Morris Home Page, http://www.bobmorris.net (April 15, 2005).