Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
(Received for an honest review from Berkley Prime Crime)
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, itunes
Rebecca M. Hale on the WEB: website, twitter, facebook, goodreads
Books in the series:
Mystery in the Islands
1. Adrift on St. John
2. Afoot on St. Croix
3. Aground on St. Thomas
Coverart: Click the Image for a larger, clearer view of the covers in this series.
From the New York Times bestselling author of Adrift on St. John and Afoot on St. Croix, comes a tale of intrigue and excitement in the Virgin Islands…
The tropical paradise of St. Thomas is shut down as the FBI seizes control of the island to apprehend government officials on bribery charges. Tourists and locals are stranded until FBI agent Gabe “Friday” Stein can find the missing governor and two senators who have eluded capture.
Innocent of any crime, Senator Julia Sanchez can only escape wrongful arrest with the help of eccentric Senator Bobo. As they try to blend in with increasingly hostile locals and make their trek across the island to safety, Senator Sanchez is only just beginning to realize the extent of the corruption behind the island’s idyllic façade…
Rebecca M. Hale continues her Mystery in the Islands series with her latest effort, Aground on St. Thomas. St. Thomas is the setting of this atypical cozy mystery featuring a fictitious government take over due to political corruption. Hale isn't your usual cozy writer and her unique blend of history and mystery always proves for an exciting read. The island locale is fun and inviting and will have readers wishing for a Mai Tai or Pina Colada instead of their customary cup of joe. A good book to add to your island collection!
What I liked:
Who doesn't want to read about sunny beaches and drinks with little umbrellas? Rebecca M. Hale does a fantastic job with setting in this series. Each book features a different one of the Virgin Islands and has a sort of laid back, island attitude. The characters don't get in too much of a hurry and they solve each mystery with a bit of island flare. It is easy to see that Hale loves this area of the world and has a feel for the way of life and the islander perspective. It adds a very unique air to the books and keeps the reader guessing as to what will happen next.
Aground on St. Thomas wasn't the kind of book I was expecting. I have come to keep a very open mind where Hale's writing is concerned because it is somewhat unconventional. The island takeover was certainly a big idea and relatively complex. I wasn't sure she could pull it off and make it believable. Though it does have a basis in fact, this is did not occur on St. Thomas, but Hale certainly can make a reader think it did. I liked all of the political machinations and all of the corruption and details that Hale adds to give the theme credibility and authenticity. It was Herculean task and she impressed me with her handling of it.
Now what does a government takeover have to do with a cozy mystery? I know it sounds a little convoluted but if you give it a chance you will see the line of Hale's thoughts and how she works it into the mystery. Senator Sanchez might be innocent of any wrong doing or bribery taking, but she is beginning to see that there was a lot going on behind the scenes as she flees capture with the help of a very eccentric Senator. Hale makes readers believe in this trek to freedom and in proving the innocence of those who were not involved.
It took some big twists and turns and I wasn't really sure where we would end up at the end, but looking back I really liked all the political intrigue. I thought Hale did a great job of taking a huge idea and bringing it down to right and wrong. I liked the island setting an the way the locals helped and hindered the Senators in their escape. It had that island attitude this series is known for and I look forward to seeing what in the world Hale comes up with next.
Aground on St. Thomas is available NOW from your favorite bookseller.
I'm giving this one 4 out of 5 apples from my book bag!
About the Author:
NY Times bestselling author REBECCA M. HALE worked for almost ten years as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area before taking time off to write her first novel, HOW TO WASH A CAT. She is now the author of nine Penguin titles and a growing list of ebooks released under her own imprint Green Vase Publishing. She writes fiction, typically in the form of quirky mysteries that reflect her travel experiences and the people she meets on her journeys.
Rebecca lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing associates, that is, when she's not off researching future books set in San Francisco, the Caribbean or wherever else her wandering spirit takes her.
The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale.
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