Thursday, December 4, 2014

Review and Giveaway: Aground on St. Thomas

Aground on St. Thomas (Mystery in the Islands - Book 3) by Rebecca M. Hale

Publication Date: 12/02/2014
Publisher: Penguin Group
Imprint: Berkley Prime Crime
Genre: Cozy Mystery
Pages: 400
ISBN-10: 0425252515
ISBN-13: 978-04252512

(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.

Bottom Line:

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.

Giveaway Details:

The publisher is sponsoring a giveaway for one copy of Aground on St. Thomas by Rebecca M. Hale.

~ You must be an email subscriber to participate.
~ US addresses only.
~ The deadline to enter this giveaway is Midnight EST, December 18th.

1. Please leave a comment. Have you ever been to the islands? Where's your favorite place to go?

2. Please fill out the FORM.


Unknown said...

i have never been to any islands

traveler said...

I haven't been to any islands. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Unknown said...

I have been to Puerto Rico. Beautiful beaches.

Linda Kish said...

I have never been to the islands.

lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Malka E said...

i've never been (except in books!)

holdenj said...

I have never been to any of those islands. I have been to the beach in Mexico, so have had one experience with a lot of palm trees and beautiful ocean views. Thanks!

Carol N Wong said...

The only island that I have been to is Nantucket. My ancestors were among the first five families that settled there. I loved it. I didn't want to leave. No matter where you went, you were not far from the ocean. I had tears in my eyes on the ferry back.

Karen B said...

I've never been to the islands but have been to the FL Keys about60 years ago!

lkleback said...

My husband won a trip to Hawaii once and spent a week on Oahu. It was fabulous!

lag123 said...

I have never been to the islands.

lag110 at mchsi dot com

Sue Farrell said...

My husband refuses to travelll---so I've been nowhere.

Carol M said...

I've never been to any islands. We don't travel.

Unknown said...

i have only been to the Dominican Republic.but it was beautiful definately would go again

Martha Lawson said...

No, I haven't!!

Theresa N. said...

No I've never been but I do enjoy the beaches of South Carolina.
Theresa N

Unknown said...

I've been to Jamaica and found it one of the loveliest places I have ever been.

Barbara T. said...

Only via a cruise.

bn100 said...

No, I haven't

Elizabeth Schroedle said...

I have been to the islands. I love St. Thomas because it has the best shopping. I used to shop at a jewelry store called Universal owned by Andy and Meni. I loved their sapphire rings.

Anita Yancey said...

I have never been to the islands. My husband and I prefer the mountains. Thanks for having the giveaway.


The only island I've ever been to is Jamaica. Loved it and would love to go back!

Texas Book Lover said...

No I haven't. The only Island I have been to is Galveston Island. Maybe one day if I am lucky!

Unknown said...

Thanks to everyone who commented - and to Debbie for hosting this wonderful blog. Happy Holidays and Happy Reading!

Michelle F. said...

The only island I've been to is Put-In-Bay (South Bass Island) near Port Clinton in Northwest Ohio. That's not too far away from where I live in Toledo.

Haven't read any books by this author.