Adrift on St. John by Rebecca M. Hale is the first book in the new “Mystery in the Islands” mystery series. Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, March 2012

No one knows better than resort manager Pen Hoffstra that the idea of a tropical paradise is an illusion. So when a young woman named Hannah Sheridan disappears and a water taxi sinks mysteriously off the island of St. John, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems to be.

Pointing out Hannah’s resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 slave revolt on St. John—whose ghost is rumored to haunt the island—the local community quickly latches on to the belief that her spirit is behind the sinking and the disappearance.

Only one person on the island knows the whole truth, and it’s not what anyone suspects.

I like it. This was an easy flowing, narrative tale that took a different path in its storytelling. Snapshots of historical folklore were interspersed with the present as the tension built as to how this drama will unwind. Pen, the heroine in this mystery is a mystery herself and that in itself kept me turning the pages as we are introduced to some of the local flavor of the island from the laid-back approach; to the local dialect and the people that have become a part of her circle. This is not your typical cozy, but an intriguing and adventurous jaunt on a tropical island. This is a good read and I look forward to the next excursion in this likable series.

Full Disclosure – The publisher sent me a copy of this book

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