Paradise Can be Murder
The fourth installment in the Kay Driscoll series by Susan Bernhardt is out. Paradise Can be Murder is a delightful read that chronicles a Caribbean cruise, Kay, her husband Phil, friends Deirdre and husband, and another close friend, Elizabeth, alone because her husband has to work, take–hoping for a week of romantic evenings and days of strolling on white sand with turquoise waters for background.
Bernhardt is a gifted storyteller and her descriptions of the sights and life on the ship, particularly the appetizing food, brings the reader into the story. Regardless of how pleasing the narrative is, this is a mystery, after all. Someone dies on board, under suspicious circumstances, and Kay and her entourage are determined to find the culprit. They are certain the drowning in the ship’s pool was murder.
Time is against them, the ship stalls mid-ocean—in fact the last two stops are cancelled—and if they don’t solve the crime soon, the murderer is likely to get off the boat without he or she being apprehended. As work on the ship progresses and the cruise starts moving toward its final destination, Kay, with her friends’ help identifies who was responsible for the murder.
At last the group gets home, but a heinous, racially motivated crime has befallen two of Kay’s friends in Sudburry Falls. Kay, immediately, gets to work and the culprits are apprehended.
Although Paradise Can be Murder is a stand-alone story, there are many references to incidents that take place in previous books. I recommend the reader start with book one of the series, The Ginseng Conspiracy, and proceed in the order the books were published, Murder Under the Tree next, followed by Murder Under Fireworks, then Paradise Can be Murder.
I’m certain Bernhardt intends to continue her series with other books and keep weaving Kay’s family throughout. If you want to be entertained by the prolific pen of this mystery author, you must read her complete oeuvre. You will be glad you did.
Long live the cozy!