“After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life–and a murder victim?
The self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother’s name, Whit will have to investigate Jules’ shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members–with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit’s ex-boyfriend who’s looking to rekindle their relationship.” – Amazon
I love finding cozy mysteries that have a unique hook to them, and Much Ado About Nauticaling by Gabby Allan has accomplished that with the main character and her brother owning a glass bottom boat that does tours off of Catalina. This appeals to me so much because while growing up my father gave boat tours in my hometown, and I know how much fun people have on them… although we never found a dead body!
The way Allan describes the small beach town, ocean life, and food will have you planning your next trip out to the West coast. Add in a touch of romance and well developed characters, and you’ll be looking forward to book two even before you finish the first one in the Whit and Whiskers Mysteries.
Besides having a different spin then the protagonist owning a store, although Whitney does own a souvenir shop too, the Dame of the Sea, Allan also has small differences when it comes to the potential romantic partner. Instead of him just being a cop or reporter, he’s a police diver. Something a bit unusual with the potential for the readers to learn new things about that profession.
And whereas the suspect often spends time sitting in jail while the main character looks for clues, in Much Ado About Nauticaling, he’s on the run and hiding out for most of the book… which causes a lot of frustration for Whit.
And I just want to throw in that I love Goldie and Gramps, before I say that I highly recommend this new series.
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