I read this book with a bit of a broken heart when I learned that Blaize had passed away in 2011. We are fortunate to have her son, John, helping to complete his Mom's work.
Another great book set on Siesta Key...enjoy!
This has been a great series from the beginning. I was really worried, however, because the author, Blaize Clement, died. Her son John took over; this is the first book he has written in the series. This is a very nervous time for all of us who love Dixie Hemingway and her friends.
I'm happy to report that this book, at least, carries on the tradition in an acceptable way. Dixie is still Dixie, mostly.
Now, a few observations. I had a little trouble with the plotting and pace. I was OK until maybe page 170 or thereabouts, when some startling and--for me, at least--extremely unlikely things are revealed. The kind of thing that makes you roll your eyes and think, "Oh, come on!" As I read on, there were a few more of these hard-to-swallow events.
Also, as all cozy readers know, there will be times when the heroine does something foolhardy and dangerous. The best writers somehow make you willing to suspend your disbelief and go along with the story without realizing that you shouldn't really believe all this. In this one, I was definitely aware that I shouldn't be believing that Dixie was really doing something stupid.
It occurred to me that perhaps one reason that the "I-really-shouldn't-be-doing-this-but-I'm-going-to-go ahead-anyway" moments here were not convincing is that they were written by a man. Dixie's thoughts were subtly more masculine than feminine. Maybe.
At any rate, I had to roll my eyes occasionally and force myself to go on with the story a few times. After doing so, the mystery comes together relatively well. And since I'm a man and wouldn't recognize the way a woman thinks under any circumstances, perhaps Dixie's thinking bothers me a bit because it seems more like the way I might think. Maybe.
Bottom line: If you like the previous stories, read this one, too. It may not be as seamlessly wonderful as the other books, but it's still fun.