FORGOTTEN BOOKS: THE T.D. STASH CRIME ADVENTURE SERIES!
W. R. PHILBRICK (PSEUDONYM FOR RODMAN PHILBRICK)
Living in Key West, Florida, T. D. Stash is a professional fishing guide and an unlicensed detective. Apparently, the author came up with the idea for the series after he “built a houseboat in the Keys and saw the local denizens up close and personal.” I’d say it’s possible the real reason was an attempt – not necessarily unsuccessful – to emulate the success and style of Travis McGee, the original beach bum detective.
There were three books in the T.D. Stash series:
Drugs, dames, death – a bubbling brew of danger in the Florida keys.
A kidnapping, a country music star, and a psycho loose in the mangroves.
Keys To Trouble
A young kid in over his head in the kind of snow that doesn’t melt but kills. An aging rock star running out of voice and money. His Brit wife, as beautiful, cold and cutting as an icicle. A female cabdriver who turned the meter off when it came to sex. A local lawman who played by the rules and a narc who made his own. A woman painter who liked her landscapes bare and her men nude. A kidnapping that was either real or faked, and a corpse that couldn’t be denied.
T. D. Stash thought he had seen everything in anything-goes Key West. But the laid-back fishing guide, sometimes private eye, was wrong. And unless he got to the bottom of drugs, deceit, greed and sex, he would wind up dead . . .
THE CRYSTAL BLUE PERSUASION
Sunken gold becomes blood money in a gulf stream storm of sex and slaying.
A con man, an underwater treasure hunt, and a hurricane.
The Rosario, a Spanish galleon loaded with gold, sank four centuries ago off the Florida Keys. Now a smooth-as-silk-tongued treasure hunter named Harper King said he had the key to finding that fortune, with a lot of other people’s money. And it was up to T. D. Stash, laid-back fishing guide and part-time detective operating out of Key West, to put on his sleuthing cap, climb into diving gear, and plunge into the depths of a mystery where hammerhead sharks below the surface were nothing compared the human ones above it. In less time than a hurricane could wink its eye, Stash was deeply immersed in a case of ghoulish greed where sex was the ultimate sales pitch and death the final payoff. . .
One of the best since Travis McGee.
Rapacious developers, killer alligators, a murderous femme fatale, and an eight-year-old girl who is 'tough enough' to take on her mother's killers - with the help of our intrepid hero. Set in Key West and the Everglades.
T. D. Stash, part-time sleuth, was over his cool head in dirty business in the Everglades: There was an adorable little girl who claimed her loving father wanted her to be an adorable corpse . . . a tycoon who bred killer alligators for profit and pleasure . . . a sex kitten with skin you’d love to touch and claws you didn’t want to feel . . . a pair of twin sadists who offered a double dose of pain for your money. And as Stash cast his line for the savage secret below the surface of the swampland, the fever of fear rose in direct proportion to death’s chilling revelations . . .
While these are out of print, they can still be found via the usual used book sources on the Internet. While somewhat derivative, any of T.D. Stash’s adventures can provide pleasurable diversion while not adding anything new to the genre.
My suggestion, however, would be to return to the source of this type of adventure by pulling out your battered copies of John D. McDonald’s Travis McGee tales, or even Randy Wayne White’s original Dusky MacMorgan series (originally written under the pen name Randy Striker) starting with The Key West Connection.