Note: Even though this is Book 2 in the series, it works mostly fine as a stand alone novel.
Hospital chaplain Lindsay Harding is hoping to have a fun get away for her friend Anna’s wedding in the quiet town of Duck in North Carolina. However, tensions soon rise as the mother of the bride takes over and makes a simple pleasant wedding into a giant, stress-filled production. Then a body washes up on shore just to add to the festivities. Lindsay is also drawn into some family conundrums she wasn’t expecting as her mother unexpectedly shows up. Plus her aunt is having some argument with her oldest friend. I thought this book would be a bit fluffy, a light read and I wasn’t sure I was in the mood for that. I wanted a murder mystery I could sink my teeth into and that is what the author delivered with this book. True, there are several moments of comic relieve, but they are well balanced with death and loss. Lindsay has a lot piled onto her throughout this story and I thoroughly enjoyed watching her rise to the various challenges.
So let’s start with my one caution. I jumped into Book 2 of this series because that is the book I won from the narrator. It works mostly well as a stand alone novel except for all the family entanglements that Lindsay has concerning her mother and her aunt. Lindsay’s mother’s ex-boyfriend is a violent repeat offender and apparently he did some damage in the past, which I think was covered in Book 1. So, there’s tons references to those events and how they relate to some of the stuff that happens in this book. I would have enjoyed this book a little more if I had read Book 1 first because of these references to past bad deeds.
Alright, now that that is out of the way, I can continue to tell you how much fun this mystery was. Lindsay is a very human character. She is flawed, she makes mistakes, she has emotions. I like that life is messy for her. All sorts of misunderstandings happen throughout this book, usually with Lindsay inadvertently at the center of them.
Then there is the lost Doberman. He’s adopted by Lindsay’s aunt and later by her and also her boyfriend. The dog is a stalwart companion and also provides a little doggy relief from a few tense scenes. Lindsay’s love life is a mess and the dog knows it. He’s a bit f a comfort to her at times.
The bodies continue to pile up and one of them really hits home for Lindsay. She sees red over it and wants the killer caught or dead. To figure out who the killer is, Lindsay must interact with her family, which is not something she wants to do. A lot of intense moments come with these interactions as family secrets are revealed. Her mother is quite an interesting character because of how various people choose to treat her. She’s very self-centered and something of a manipulator. She’s not above pulling on family heart strings to get what she thinks she needs.
The murder mystery had me guessing for most of the book on both motive and on who did it. We have a few suspects from the beginning and Lindsay has to figure it out before she herself becomes the next body to wash up on the beach. Once it became apparent who was behind it, then it became a cat and mouse game to see who would come out on top, rolling that murder mystery tension up into a thrilling catch the killer or escape from the killer tension. All in all, it was a fun and sometimes intense murder mystery.
I won a copy of this book from the narrator with no expectations attached.
The Narration: Holly Adams did a superb job with this story. She had various regional accents for the characters (as sometimes described in the story) and I can only imagine the research she had to do to pull this performance off. Her male voices were believable and each character was kept distinct. There are several emotional points throughout the book and the narrator did a good job of imbuing those scenes with the proper emotions.