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Beach Reading: Great Books For Your Naples Vacation

Mysteries, romance, and space-exploration thrillers — whatever your taste in beach reading, we have something on our lists that will interest you. Enjoy these novels poolside in Naples or read them at home as you get ready for your next Naples vacation.

Novels set in Naples

Florida mysteries, from humor to thrillers

Exotic settings, from luxurious Miami high-rises to spooky mangrove swamps, have inspired hundreds of Florida mystery novels. Here are just a few of our favorites:

  • The Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald (just recently released in ebook form). Private eye McGee lives on a houseboat in Ft. Lauderdale but his cases take him throughout Florida.
  • Big Trouble by Dave Barry. Crime fiction has never been so hilarious.
  • Death from the Ladies Tee by James Bartlett, Crime on the LPGA tour. Set in Miami.
  • Cold Case Squad by Edna Buchanan. A Pulitzer-Prize winning police reporter turns to fiction.
  • To Speak for the Dead by Paul Levine. Humorous crime fiction by a Florida attorney-turned-novelist.
  • Stormy Weather by Carl Hiassen. Greed, corruption, tourists, and a Florida hurricane — what more could you ask for in a madcap mystery?
  • Where Is Joe Merchant? by Jimmy Buffett. A rock star goes missing and laid-back Florida PI Frank Barma is called in to investigate. Hilarity ensues.

Serious reading about Naples and Southwest Florida

Ready to tackle something a little tougher? May we suggest:

  • Peter Matthiessen’s Shadow Country. This historical novel (originally a trilogy) about Florida sugarcane farmer and murderer Edgar J. Watson is hailed by critics as a “masterpiece.”
  • The Orchid Thief: A True Story of Beauty and Obsession by Susan Orlean. Intrigued by the orchids you see in homes in Naples? Here’s a true story about the local orchid industry and a criminal obsessed with finding — and stealing — a rare orchid.

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