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Blood Orchids (Lei Crime, Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Toby Neal
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,216 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $13.99
Kindle Price: $4.99
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Book Description

Fast-paced crime mystery with a touch of romance, readers call Blood Orchids "un-putdownable"!

"Sometimes in crime fiction you stumble across a character who lives on beyond the book's end by virtue of their psychological complexity, and the richness with which the author has drawn them. Will Graham, Jack Reacher, Alex Cross, and now they have a worthy female counterpart in Lei Teixera. Blood Orchids is that rarity among debut novels, in that it satisfies on every level. A powerful new talent is on the scene, whole-heartedly recommended."-Drew Cross, former police officer and author of BiteMarks

Hawaii is palm trees, black sand and blue water—but for policewoman Lei Texeira, there’s a dark side to paradise.

Lei has overcome a scarred past to make a life for herself as a cop in the sleepy Big Island town of Hilo. On a routine patrol she finds two murdered teenagers—one of whom she’d recently busted. With its echoes of her own past, the murdered girl’s harsh life and tragic death affect Lei deeply. She becomes obsessed—even as the killer is drawn to Lei's intensity, feeding off her vulnerabilities and toying with her sanity.

Despite her obsession with the case and fear that she's being stalked, Lei finds herself falling in love for the first time. Steaming volcanoes, black sand beaches and shrouded fern forests are the backdrop to Lei's quest for answers—and the stalker is closer than she can imagine, as threads of the past tangle in her future. Lei is determined to find the killer—but he knows where to find her first.

Books In This Series (8 Books)
Complete Series

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 668 KB
    • Print Length: 312 pages
    • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
    • Publisher: Toby Neal (November 27, 2011)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B006FBDHG2
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Not Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,080 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    214 of 221 people found the following review helpful
    4.0 out of 5 stars Hawaii and Crime Done Right November 29, 2011
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    It's not easy to write a story that takes place in Hawaii for a wider audience and do it well. Many authors write from an outsider's perspective, throwing out careless mistakes which cause local readers to groan in the same way they suffer the mispronunciation of famous street names or landmarks on Hawaii Five-O. Other writers spend so much time explaining why Hawaii is the way it is, they lose the rhythm of the narrative and distract from the story they are trying to tell. Another common trap is to use local expressions without bothering to explain what they mean.

    The late Ian MacMillan could strike the right balance, and Toby Neal can, too. The main character in Blood Orchids--Lei Texeira--grew up partly in Hawaii, partly in California. Having Lei for a main character is like having a cultural interpreter to show you what it's really like to live in Hilo, on the island of Hawaii. The authenticity is there, the local flavor and texture are there, too. But the contemporary social issues are in the background. This story is about a very human and likeable cop with more than a couple of things to prove. Her friends, family, enemies, and the things that happen to her and around her make this a compelling read.
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    70 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Dysfunctional Takes on New Meaning in Blood Orchids April 12, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I've just finished reading Blood Orchids by Hawaii Mystery Author Toby Neal, and I'm still all jittery. It has nothing to do with coffee, either. The author builds a convincing web of horrors around main character Lei Texeira, and after reading this book I'm going to have a hard time relaxing again.

    Lei is a police officer in Hilo, Hawaii, working to make detective and in the meantime keeping the lid on gangs, solving murders, and by the way also fending off her own personal stalker. The layers of this woman's history build slowly and naturally in this lush, tropical mystery. When the book opens, in classic murder mystery style, Lei has discovered two female victims floating in a creek, drowned and clearly murdered.

    Lei herself was raped at age nine, and her mother died soon after of an overdose while her father was hauled off to prison. The girl grew up in a world that we call dysfunctional, but that makes it sound way too clean and nice. More like a world of pain and hurting, of bruises and scars and daytime nightmares and nighttime terror. As a result, flowers in Lei's world now that she's an adult feel almost like something venomous while her favorite gun, the Glock 40, earns her kisses and caresses. Lei has serious issues, as she is the first to admit.

    I like it that the author is not afraid to make the characters talk in Hawaiian dialect. "'Someone been making trouble for me. I like you make it stop,' Lei said in pidgin." She handles this expertly, and you feel not only like you are in Hawaii, but like you are navigating between different social classes on the streets of second-city Hilo, Hawaii. I guess it's like Oakland compared to downtown San Francisco.
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    83 of 91 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I found Blood Orchids to be a captivating story with engaging characters in well described settings. If, like me, you are a fan of crime/mystery novels with a series character, then you will want to add Toby Neal's Lei Texeira to your list. I look forward to reading more about the exploits of this feisty and complex Hilo, Hawaii cop.
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    41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read Mystery April 14, 2012
    Format:Kindle Edition
    Lei Texeira has stumbled upon two bodies floating in the water in Hilo, Hawaii. Lei is a police officer trying to work her way up to detective and knowing one of the victims she feels compelled to help with the investigation. Michael Stevens a detective from California is leading the investigation and enlists Lei to help.

    The character of Lei is slowly revealed throughout the story and I felt such empathy for her and the horrific struggles she went thru as a child. She is a feisty, complicated and tortured woman who wrestles with her demons and does her job with determination.

    Detective Michael Stevens is a straightforward detective who has lived through some childhood trauma of his own. His relationship with Lei takes a personal turn and he becomes very protective of her.

    Toby Neal's colorful descriptions of the lush landscape of Hawaii made me feel as if I was there. The attention to detail of the diverse vegetation and volcanoes painted a beautiful backdrop to this story. I appreciated that the characters used a Hawaiian dialect defined as pidgin which made for interesting dialogue.

    The character of Lei was extremely multi-layered and complex and brought to life with compassion and fervor. The mystery is packed with tension, fast paced and held me enthralled while driving me forward.

    I definitely recommend this book to all readers, you will not be disappointed!

    Marilou George - The Kindle Book Review
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    67 of 74 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Action-packed whodunnit! November 29, 2011
    By Bonny
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    This book reaches out and grabs you from page 1. Lei is a smart, spunky, and complicated crime-solver who is in the midst of a homicide investigation on the island of Hawaii. Packed with information about what it is like to really live in the islands, as contrasted to the tourist experience, this book leaves you wanting more!
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars Slow till the end
    Not much happens until the end then it is a bit too much, almost becomes unrealistic

    . Writing style is entertaining
    Published 6 hours ago by none
    4.0 out of 5 stars good read
    Brought back memories of living in Hawaii, along with an interesting story line. A little predictable, but enjoyed the book.
    Published 6 hours ago by Karen J Keefer
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Good read did' want to put down
    Published 13 hours ago by Ann
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    First one I have read in this series and made me want to read the others.
    Published 1 day ago by Brenda K. Rolfs
    4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
    Good story with enough twists to keep it interesting.
    Published 1 day ago by Theresa Conklin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    great book I am reading the whole set
    Published 1 day ago by Beth W.
    2.0 out of 5 stars subpar
    I usually enjoy a good crime mystery, but this one was lacking. I did not like the main character and everything was a bit predictable.
    Published 2 days ago by Amanda
    4.0 out of 5 stars very good book
    very good book
    Published 2 days ago by joy Williams
    1.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't get it...
    I tried but I just didn't get into it. Not bad, just not my cup of tea. Better luck next time.
    Published 2 days ago by Marianne White
    5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great Story.
    This was my first time reading a Toby Neal book. This certainly won't be my last. I'm excited about the rest of the series. Fabulous first book of the series.
    Published 3 days ago by ViviBee
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    More About the Author

    Toby Neal was raised on Kauai in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5 and has been published in magazines and won several writing contests. After initially majoring in Journalism, she eventually settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, "I'm endlessly fascinated with people's stories."

    She enjoys many outdoor sports including bodyboarding, scuba diving, beach walking, gardening and hiking. She lives in Hawaii with her family and dogs.

    Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters-from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous and vulnerable heroine in the Lei Crime Series.

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