At her family’s hotel on a Florida barrier island, sleuthing novelist Liz Holt is shocked by a hidden treasure—and a buried body . . .
A team of archaeologists is staying at Indialantic by the Sea to study the days of the Spanish explorers, and they’ve stumbled upon a stunning and valuable find at the dig site, but before they can unearth it one of the archeologists finds himself buried in the sand and pierced with diving spear tipped with poison.
The local sheriff’s department accuses the owner of the neighboring property, Liz’s elderly reclusive friend and naturalist, Birdman, of the crime. Liz is sure—well, pretty sure—he is innocent and sets her sights on the remaining four archeologists.
With the help of her PI boyfriend and an octogenarian hotel resident, and two mischievous pet parrots, Liz must dig into the mystery of who buried the scientist and absconded with the artifacts he’d promised would put him in Florida history books—before she becomes history herself . . .
A lovely spot on the coast filled with old stories, explorers, and shipwrecks consistently draws treasure seekers including the current team of archeologists staying at Indialantic by the Sea. They appear to have found a valuable artifact at their dig site (there by the permission of the land owner) but one of them is discovered very quickly buried in the pit with a diving spear. And if it’s not the owner, Birdman, a reclusive naturalist, then it has to be one of the four archeologists.
The Bennett property, site of the dig, has not been a particularly quiet venue lately. It’s obvious there are problems among them. Unfortunately, it’s Birdman the police arrest and protagonist Liz Holt, part of the hotel’s family, knows it couldn’t have been he. Not her first murder since she returned home, the novelist turned sleuth begins her investigation.
Ryan is her PI boyfriend and their relationship is becoming serious. Her octogenarian aunt, a flamboyant ex-Hollywood bit player is always full of stories, name dropping, with activities sufficient to cross the eyes. Among other support characters, are two macaws, one recently added in hopes of mating the pair and hopefully encouraging the female to talk.
The investigation and collaboration continue until the perp is ascertained in a rather low-key conclusion adding in one last twist of a romantic nature at the end.
I must admit to finding more than a few passages so low key my interest waned and I had a hard time staying engaged, nor was I really able to connect to the protagonist. A few more clichés than I appreciate and some mysteries and twists added (including the extended conversation regarding Barbies) that just lost me in the pages. Apparently the wrong book for me, but I’m sure fans of the author will find the discussions, particularly regarding Ponce de León enlightening.
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from the publisher and NetGalley. These are my honest thoughts.
Rosepoint Rating: Three Stars
Genre: Amateur Sleuth Mysteries, Cozy Mystery
Publisher: Lyrical Press
- ASIN : B08D71LHR7
Print Length: 268 pages
Publication Date: April 13, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
The Author: National Bestselling author Kathleen Bridge started her writing career at the Michigan State News in East Lansing, Michigan. She is the author of the Hamptons Home and Garden Mysteries: Better Homes and Corpses, Hearse and Gardens, Ghostal Living, Manor of Dying, and A Design To Die For. She is also the author of the A By the Sea Mysteries: Death By the Sea, A Killing by the Sea, and Murder by the Sea, and Evil by the Sea. Kathleen is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime and blissfully lives on a barrier island on Florida’s central east coast.
©2021 V Williams