Readers' Comments

Coconut Grove and Dinner Key


Dear Dirk:

I loved your book, in fact I was not able to put it down!  The story, the hero, the ambiance, Miami, Bimini and Turtle Rock, etc., the list goes on, I could really relate to it all and loved every minute of reading!  I used to live on my boat at Dinner Key Marina in the early nineties, as well as in South Beach.

I'm very glad to learn from your web site that your next Ben Candidi novel is about to be available for purchase.  I can't wait!

But permit me a couple of minor comments because I noticed the details:

(1)   The terraced building in the Grove that is described as an office building is really the Grand Bay Hotel.  It is adjoined by the Grand Bay office complex, but the terraces are actually part of exquisite hotel suites (I had the privilege of staying in one, once.  I believe this was where QEII stayed during her Miami visit some 10 years ago or so.  It is the only true 5 star hotel in Florida, someone said.)  Each terrace ends with six feet of shrubbery, so it is impossible to walk up to the rail and look down on the neighbors on the terrace below.  This lovely design consequently allows for complete and total privacy on each suite's patio/terrace, except from a birds eye view.

(2)  Also, in the book I recall Ben's sailing yacht being a 38', not 36' as described on your web site... (I'm sorry to say).

All the best,

Bernt Nordin


Dear Bernt:

I am glad that my descriptions of Coconut Grove and the Bahamas struck a chord with you.  My favorite novels have a strong sense of place and I pay a lot of attention to it in my own work.

You say you lived on a boat off of Dinner Key (Coconut Grove).  Were you at the Montey's dock, or in the official mooring, or outside where my Ben Candidi kept his boat?   Did you drink a few beers at Scotty's Landing (ex. Captain Dick's, similar to Captain Walley's)?

Thanks for your corrections; you are right on both counts:

(1)  You are absolutely right that the terraced building that looks like a Mayan temple is not an office building but it really the Grand Bay Hotel.  I needed it to house the defense lawyer, so I took some liberties there.

(2)  You are also right about the length of Ben's boat.  I was familiar with Cheoy Lee yachts, but when it came time to put it down on paper I relied on some mis-information from a broker.  Later, I got the correct information from the Cheoy Lee Website which is now linked to my front page.  The correct description of the Diogenes is a 36-foot Cheoy Lee ketch.  The second book describes the yacht correctly.



Dear Dirk:

Thanks for your quick response.  You certainly may include my letter on your site if you like.  Please take a look at my Transparent Patient Technologies site, too.  We provide some free services for cancer patients and their families as well as for the industry professionals in radiation therapy.

I had a slip in the Dinner Key Marina itself.  Right after the hurricane when the Marina was all messed up the slips were very inexpensive as there was no power, water, cable or phone connections, but my Mainship had a generator, so I was fine.  I was on the bulkhead at first, close to the dockmaster's office and later moved out on E dock (I think) when they rebuilt it.  I frequented Scotty's Landing, and hung out with some of the salty shrimpers and boat mechanics, and I and rode my bike around the Grove to other fun establishments as well as to my office at the time, down on 78th Street and Red Road in South Miami.  It is dangerous to bike in Miami, however.  There are no bike lanes like in Europe.  I wish the cities/county would address that.

All the best,



Your cancer site looks great.  It will be valuable to both patient and practitioner.  I will feature it as the "Pick of the Month" for February.


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