Fans of Doc Ford, hipster friend Tomlinson and the semi-fictional Dinkins Bay flocked to Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille in June to meet The New York Times bestselling author behind the popular Doc Ford books. Randy Wayne White visited the restaurant’s four locations to promote and sign “One Deadly Eye,” the newest and 27th installment of his mystery-thriller series starring the eponymous Doc Ford and his adventures on Sanibel Island and Southwest Florida.

“One Deadly Eye,” which chronicles the reality-meets-fictitious aftermath of a Category 5 hurricane in the world of Doc Ford, was released June 4.

White’s book tour included stops in Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, the St. Petersburg Pier and Jungle Terrace in St. Petersburg, where the author also discussed his writing process.

“Randy’s visits were a great success, as always,” said Joe Harrity, a partner with HM Restaurant Group, the parent company of Doc Ford’s and sister restaurant Dixie Fish Company. “Fans enjoy meeting him and learning how he blends real events and places into page-turning novels.”

Set on Sanibel during a deadly hurricane, “One Deadly Eye” fictionalizes the reality of 2022’s Hurricane Ian as Doc Ford, a marine biologist and suspected covert government agent, attempts to stop a criminal brotherhood, capture a serial killer and locate a missing Russian diplomat following the passing of the storm’s eye and the disappearance of his beloved sidekick Tomlinson.

White, a Southwest Florida resident who co-founded the restaurants with HM Restaurant Group,

bestowed the Doc Ford name to the original Sanibel restaurant in 2003.

HM Restaurant Group owns and operates Doc Ford’s Rum Bar & Grille. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the restaurants are renowned for delivering a legendary guest experience.

Award-winning Doc Ford’s offers food with a unique balance of flavors inspired by the Caribbean Rim. Known for its sauces, spices, passion and signature Yucatan shrimp served daily, Doc Ford’s is beloved by locals and visitors alike as a spectacular seafood restaurant. A perennial Tripadvisor Travelers’ Choice winner, the pier restaurant was named the No. 1 Best of the Best Restaurants for Everyday Eats in 2023.

Philanthropy and community outreach are engrained in HM Restaurant Group’s company philosophy. Proceeds from specialty cocktails at Doc Ford’s raise money for children’s hospitals and water quality issues. HM Restaurant Group also supports local nonprofits dedicated to conservation, community and the environment. The “Ding” Darling Doc Ford’s Tarpon Tournament has raised nearly $1.3 million for Sanibel’s J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge since 2012. The 13th annual tournament is May 9, 2025.