Lee Library #2 Miami Purity

Miami Purity by Vicki Hendricks is a great book. As I said though the point of this Lee Library series isn’t to go on and on about what I like but rather recommend books which can really help your writing or how you look at stories. Even if you don’t enjoy them as works of fiction you can at least take some lessons from them.

In the first edition of this series, Kill Your Friends considered how to handle black humour in stories and up that to the max to make it work.

This novel, which I really do recommend, is a good lesson on how the tropes of a genre can be inverted to your advantage to make a more compelling story.

The story, briefly and spoiler free, is about Sherri, a sex mad stripper and dancer. She wants a new lease on life in the form of a legitimate, 9-5 job and does this by working at a dry cleaners called (you guessed it) Miami Purity. She gets involved in some messed up situations that will make your head turn as the story marches on towards its increasingly grim climax.

This book in addition to the dark themes is totally dripping with sex…poor choice of words. Oozing sex! No, that’s just as bad. Look, there is a lot of sex in it. The first two novels in the Lee Library have that in common haha I promise they aren’t all like that.

So why on earth would this book help your writing?

Let me pose you another question, what is noir? A noir book for example.

I tend to think of grizzled detectives, corruption, downer endings, femme fatales. Setting is usually a fog choked city.

Miami Purity turns all that upside down. It is set in tropical Miami, sunshine and beaches, the main character is a sexually liberated, actually a pretty happy character. However when your read this, the core of noir, that dark struggle against impossible odds usually intertwined with crime is clearly there.

So although being aware of and even enjoying genre tropes is absolutely okay, it can also be fun to invert them.  The key to doing this though is making sure you understand what makes the tropes work so you can do it well. If you try to invert fantasy novels without having read any, it won’t be very good.

I.E.

What makes sword and sorcery, Conan-style adventure stories fun is the hero taking on impossible odds and saving the day.

Trope- hero fights evil step by step until the whole area is better off and rejoicing.

I know that from reading countless fantasy books.

Inversion- the heroe’s actions have disastrous consequences that steadily make the area worse.

That would be a fun story!

So a lesson learned from Miami Purity.

I know they say don’t judge a book by a cover but I love this.

Miami Purity by Vicki Hendricks is a great book. As I said though the point of this Lee Library series isn’t to go on and on about what I like but rather recommend books which can really help your writing or how you look at stories. Even if you don’t enjoy them as works of fiction you can at least take some lessons from them.

In the first edition of this series, Kill Your Friends considered how to handle black humour in stories and up that to the max to make it work.

This novel, which I really do recommend, is a good lesson on how the tropes of a genre can be inverted to your advantage to make a more compelling story.

The story, briefly and spoiler free, is about Sherri, a sex mad stripper and dancer. She wants a new lease on life in the form of a legitimate, 9-5 job and does this by working at a dry cleaners called (you guessed it) Miami Purity. She gets involved in some messed up situations that will make your head turn as the story marches on towards its increasingly grim climax.

This book in addition to the dark themes is totally dripping with sex…poor choice of words. Oozing sex! No, that’s just as bad. Look, there is a lot of sex in it. The first two novels in the Lee Library have that in common haha I promise they aren’t all like that.

So why on earth would this book help your writing?

Let me pose you another question, what is noir? A noir book for example.

I tend to think of grizzled detectives, corruption, downer endings, femme fatales. Setting is usually a fog choked city.

Miami Purity turns all that upside down. It is set in tropical Miami, sunshine and beaches, the main character is a sexually liberated, actually a pretty happy character. However when your read this, the core of noir, that dark struggle against impossible odds usually intertwined with crime is clearly there.

So although being aware of and even enjoying genre tropes is absolutely okay, it can also be fun to invert them.  The key to doing this though is making sure you understand what makes the tropes work so you can do it well. If you try to invert fantasy novels without having read any, it won’t be very good.

I.E.

What makes sword and sorcery, Conan-style adventure stories fun is the hero taking on impossible odds and saving the day.

Trope- hero fights evil step by step until the whole area is better off and rejoicing.

I know that from reading countless fantasy books.

Inversion- the heroe’s actions have disastrous consequences that steadily make the area worse.

That would be a fun story!

So a lesson learned from Miami Purity.

(I know they say don’t judge a book by a cover but I love this!)

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