I was excited to receive a review copy of “Danger at the Cove“, book two in the new Island Sisters series. I absolutely adored the first book, and was eager to read this second one. In this installment, Evie and Margo are preparing for their upcoming open house and grand opening. Since nothing can ever be easy, things are complicated by unexpected guests and a body count.
I loved the concept of setting this series on an isolated island that can only be accessed at certain times of day due to the tides. I’m enjoying this angle for a murder mystery; suspects can be added or ruled out based on whether or not they had access to the island during the time of the crime.
The descriptions, of both the landscape and the hotel itself, were just detailed enough to enable me to “see” everything, without bogging down the narrative at all. Tregarrick Island is based on the Scilly Isles, and it’s an area I’d definitely love to visit, even if Evie’s hotel is fictional.
I also enjoyed getting to know more about main characters Evie and Margot. Evie was likable and intelligent from the beginning, but I liked seeing her growth as she becomes more businesslike and independent this time around. Margot was a bit difficult in the first book, and it was refreshing to see her becoming a better person (and sister) with this story. I imagine we’ll see lots of character growth from both ladies in future installments. One other note: I appreciated Margo’s traditional morality and strong views on the subject. It will be interesting to see how she reconciles her personal views with the choices some of the future guests will no doubt make.
The mystery itself was interesting, and was made even more so by the limited suspect pool provided by the island. Despite the relatively small number of people involved, there was plenty of room for doubt, suspicion, and clue-hunting. The author did a fabulous job of expanding on the old “closed-room mystery” sub-genre, and doing so in a unique and fascinating way. Patty, the head law enforcement person for the area, is a breath of fresh air! Her style is reminiscent of old-school detective novels along the lines of Holmes of Poirot. Any time she made an appearance, she definitely stole the scene!
As other reviewers have mentioned this, I will add that the murder didn’t take place until around the mid-point of the novel. I didn’t find this a negative at all, as I was completely caught up in the lives of the characters and the goings-on at the hotel. I would happily continue this series if there were no more crimes at all, and Patty was relegated to investigating things like someone’s missing luggage.
Honestly, I loved everything about this story, and can’t wait until the next book comes out.
Five out of five chunks of perfect provolone!