Susan Wolf Johnson

"An auspicious debut."

- Kirkus Review

The disappearance of a Tampa Bay blue blood rattles the skeletons in his family's closet. In Johnson's first novel, it's the summer of 1972, and Daniel Westcott, 68, has been named king of the pirates, to be crowned at the annual Gasparilla Queen's Party. But Westcott, who has never missed a Queen's Party, fails to attend his own coronation, and his enigmatic absence prompts an uneasy homecoming of his grandchildren, Becca, 21, an aspiring Broadway musical actress, and her estranged...

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Book Synopsis

On a summer's evening in 1972, while the band plays amid the sizzling heat at the Tampa Yacht Club,Gasparilla pirates and their ladies eagerly await the arrival of their newly crowned king, Daniel Westcott. But to their dismay, Daniel never shows up.

By the wee hours of the next morning, the townspeople are scratching their heads as members of the Westcott family deliberate whether or not to call the police. As the story unfolds, King Daniel has disappeared without a trace.

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Worms Don't Have Teeth

Daniel settled his body, gone lank this last month from roaming, no sleep, no food, just an odd wakefulness as if between time, juxtaposed between the heavens where the sun's heat was not weighted against the skin but remote and veiled as music playing in a dream. And cool was unimaginable, for nothing was quenched or sated, but drawn out hard and moving endlessly toward an unknown. He settled himself into a metal lawn chair. From where the water hit the seared lawn, no longer a spray but a constant stream, worms floated to the surface. Daniel saw them wiggle in the dead grass, the small, common angleworm that he could easily gather and take to the river's edge to fish. He could take the worms down and show the boy, Quinn, who sat on a plastic bucket with his cane pole baited and his line flung into the Hillsborough River, waiting for a bite.

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