This book is the fourth entry in the Doc Ford series from Randy Wayne White. I am diligently working through them.
In the first three books, White used a third-person narrative; here he shifts to first-person, story told from Doc's POV. I don't know any series where this has been done before. It works. Doc turns out to be the decent guy we've always known, incessantly getting dragged into crime and intrigue when all he really wants to do is do research and run his marine biological supply company on the Gulf Coast of Florida. But he turns out to be deadly when provoked; we always kind of knew that too.
The first person narration also makes it easy to imagine that Ford is a close relative to Travis McGee. White does a better job at this than any other would-be John D. MacDonald imitator I've sampled, probably because he's not trying to generate a McGee clone.