Review of ‘Maui Widow Waltz’

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When rich and spoiled mainland socialite, Lisa Marie Prescott, walked into Pali Moon’s ‘Let’s Get Maui’d’ wedding shop and asked Pali to plan a wedding, despite the fact that the groom-to-be had been missing at sea for over a week, Pali’s first inclination was to decline. But, with the unrelenting rain putting a damper on business, Pali’s having trouble paying her bills, and an unscrupulous real estate dealer has his eyes on her business. Principles are fine, but a person has to eat, so Pali takes the job.

Things get hinky when she learns that the bride’s father is a gangster who owns a lucrative trash business, and that trash is not the only thing he disposes of, and then the stand-in for the missing groom, his business partner, is found dead, washed up on the beach. Pali is a wedding planner, not a detective, but it looks like the cops aren’t making any headway in solving either case. Pali is left holding the bag, and a lot of unpaid bills. What’s a wedding planner to do? Why, solve the case and help put the bad guys—or gals—away.

Maui Widow Waltz by JoAnn Bassett is the first book in the Islands of Aloha mystery series. I’d previously read one of the later books in the series, and was thoroughly amused and entertained by it, so I opened this one with the expectation to be similarly engaged. I was not disappointed. Pali and her weird assortment of friends are just engaging in the premiere issue as in later issues, and as a bonus I got to learn more about our heroine. The author writes about Hawaii like someone who knows the islands well, and makes the people and place come alive.

A really good mystery is one that can be read in one sitting, because once you start, you can’t put it down until it’s finished. This one fits the bill.

I give this one five stars.

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