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Saturday, June 26, 2021

Review - Danger at the Cove

 I didn't read the first book (Death at High Tide) in this series, but I jumped into this second book in the series that goes on sale August 17, 2021.

Hannah Dennison

Copyright: August 2021 (Minotaur) 304 pgs

Series: 2nd in Island Sisters Mystery series

Sensuality: very mild

Mystery Sub-genre: Cozy mystery, amateur Sleuth

Main Characters: Evie Mead, recent widow and overseer of a remote hotel  

Setting: Contemporary, Tregarrick Rock, one of the Isles of Scilly off Cornwall (SW England).

Obtained Through: Publisher for honest review

Book blurb: "Renovations on Tregarrick Rock Hotel are coming along, and Evie Mead thinks they just might be done by opening day. Then one of her sister Margot’s old Hollywood friends, Louise, arrives unannounced—and expecting VIP treatment.

Evie has half a mind to tell Louise to find other accommodations, but Margot pleads with Evie, saying that Louise—despite her upbeat and demanding attitude—is grieving her recently deceased husband. Evie pities her, and besides, the sisters need help. A simple rewiring project has resulted in a major overhaul of the hotel, and they’re way over budget. The small life insurance policy left to Evie by her own husband is gone, and they are desperate for funds. Margot believes that Louise, a marketing guru, can put the hotel on the map and give it the boost it needs.

But when a member of the hotel staff is found dead, and then another murder follows, the sisters’ plans crumble before their eyes. Who would do such a thing—and why? In a rollicking adventure involving a shipwreck filled with buried treasure, a dashing and mysterious Australian named Randy, and old rivalries stretching back to far before Evie and Margot ever set foot on the island, it’s all hands on deck to find the killer—and save the hotel."

Evie Mead is a gentle person, observes a lot, and is easy going. Her sister, Margot, seemed aggravating to me since she discounts Evie a bit. Louise, Margot's old California friend, is neurotic, simpering, and manipulative.  Louise's boyfriend is an Australian named Randy and he doesn't seem that interested in her. Then there are the employees and renovation workers.  I really want more of the cat, Mr. Tig, who is an Instagram sensation. Apparently the owner of the hotel, Mr. Cador, is hinted to like Evie but doesn't get but a couple pages at the end.   

One of the best aspects to this mystery is the setting of the island Scilly. The tides and storms add an element of danger and isolation. I look forward to seeing how that is further utilized in future books.

 An employee goes suspiciously missing, an old shipwreck filled with buried treasure that is now accessible, and Margot's old friend insisting on visiting before the resort is even ready to open and brings with her a boyfriend acting suspiciously.  That is the setup and it develops from there. There was plenty going on to keep my interest.

 It had a tense killer reveal, which I always appreciate. The wrap up is the official opening of the island hotel, paving the way for future mysteries.

I knew the killer early on as it seemed obvious to me. But the book took a winding path around with several misdirections. The cat, Mr. Tig, is featured on the cover, but usually just gets talked about without actually being part of the story.  Evie's romantic interest didn't show up until the final pages, I guess with her being a widow that aspect is really on the slow burner.  This is a light escape, perfect if you just want a break from the world without a demanding or complex story.

Rating: Good - A fun, entertaining read.

Here is a short video of the real Isles of Scilly 

(pronounced silly)

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