A grisly, senseless murder in a city on the Hawaiian island of Maui becomes the catalyst for new friendships in this debut novel.
Paia, the windsurfing capital of the world, is a quiet little piece of paradise on Maui until an unknown psychopath slits the throats of Mr. and Mrs. Okamoto, an elderly couple who run a small grocery store. The bodies are discovered early in the morning by Annie Boone, just as a hurricane is about to strike the island. Annie and her husband, George, are a spirited, retired couple, and their house serves as a collection point for the diverse characters who are brought together by the brutal slayings. There is Dewey McMaster, who was asleep in the rain across the street from the store when the murders were committed. As it turns out, Dewey has a secret—he is a lot more than the genial windsurfer locals have come to know over the last six months. And there are Layla and Kyle Richfield, who just arrived on Maui. Layla, an independently wealthy socialite, is still recovering from the traumatic still-birth of their first baby eight months earlier. Kyle and his partner, Kim Okamoto (yes, the son of the murdered couple), were in Hawaii to be honored at a pharmaceutical convention. Add into the mix Ned and Fiona Keller (he a local, semi-retired real estate agent, she a feisty Italian decorator) and the delightful, elderly Mr. Soo. This is less a murder mystery and more a vibrant narrative about new relationships (including a love interest) that is enhanced by copious amounts of shopping, decorating, and eating. In fact, the pace is so leisurely and the focus so thoroughly on the lives of Callahan’s eclectic ensemble cast that when the murderer strikes again the following year, readers, who by now have been lulled into mild complacency, will likely be left gasping. The unadorned prose provides the details of ordinary moments of daily life but with an enjoyable, glossy overlay that allows readers to indulge vicariously in the perks of an unlimited checkbook.
As addictive as a soap opera; a fun beach read—with a killer ending.