Deadly Climate

Barth, Richard

Primary Category: Literature / Fiction

Genre: Novel

Annotated by:
Taylor, Nancy
  • Date of entry: Aug-26-2005


Margaret Binton and three New York City friends travel to Miami in a motorcoach Margaret won in a church raffle. They park on a street, Margaret argues with the policeman who gives them a ticket, and they make connections with the police that later pay off. Feeling sorry for the elderly people sitting on the porches of nursing homes on the street, Margaret, Sid, Bertie, and Durso decide to give them day trips in the RV.

At one rest home they find locked doors and no welcome. Margaret's insistence gets her inside for a brief talk with the owner, but as she leaves, one of the old men slips her a note that says "Prisoners . . . since The Eternal Holidaze." (56) Margaret and her friends figure it's the name of a boat; they find it and determine to help those in the nursing home. Needing proof, they send Sid undercover. Sid's ingenuity and gumption as well as luck and the help of his friends save his life, literally at the last minute.


Drug-running is at the core of this mystery, as are greed and mistreatment of the elderly. Inside the rest home, Sid learns that there is something called Code D for those who misbehave: Stage one is no television for a day; two, no dinner, the number of days depending on how bad a thing you did; three (for unauthorized phone calls, sneaking around at night, talking back to security guards or Mr. Forstman, the administrator), no medication.

An evil doctor is part of the scheme to drain money from the home. Although they're locked up and bullied, the residents don't complain and only hope they'll die the day before their money runs out.

By the time the police arrive at the rest home, all proof of illegal drug action has been erased, but the bad guys all get what's coming to them, the worst of them through Margaret's determination and her understanding of human character.


St. Martin's

Place Published

New York



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