A Mick Murphy Key West Mystery

Free Range Institution

Haskins's second Mick Murphy Key West mystery (after 2008's Chasin' the Wind) offers more gunfights than developed characters. On their way to a romantic lunch, journalist Murphy and his sometime girlfriend, attorney Tita Toledo, see Murphy's waterfront friend, Jay Bruehl, fall to his death from the roof of six-story Hotel Key West. Bruehl, a snitch, had tipped Murphy off about a big drug deal - and Hotel Key West was the site for a meeting of some Colombian traffickers.

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On a personal note...

I'd like to thank and acknowledge local singer-songwriter Scott Kirby for writing the song, Free Range Institution, that gave me the idea for the title.

"A fingerstyle guitarist and singer/songwriter, Kirby's musical style weaves from pop, to acoustic rock, to what he refers to as "beach folk." His lyrics are often storytelling in nature, much in the vein of Steve Goodman or Jerry Jeff Walker, and reflect the humor of someone who fled traditional New England for the laid back and zany lifestyle of America's southernmost island town. A reviewer from The Musician's Trade Journal writes, "Kirby's a storyteller. Sometimes sentimental, sometimes hilarious, but all with insight, depth and wisdom - you can't help but like this guy's music." Frank Quatrone, of Ticket Magazine, writes, "His writing can be engagingly literate to elegantly simple - the whole place was laughing and singing along to his sometimes outrageous lyrics."

Michael Haskins