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Island Murders Mass Market Paperback – June 6, 2001
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Island Murders hits the ground running and never looks back. Its a great beachor winters nightread! -- Katy Munger, Bad to the Bone, Money to Burn
Wanda Canadas debut mystery novel kept me turning the pages. More, please! -- Margaret Maron, Uncommon Clay, Bootleggers Daughter
About the Author
Wanda Canada is an experienced real estate broker, renovator, and master gardener. She lives on the Intracoastal Waterway in Wilmington, North Carolina with her husband. Island Murders is her first published novel.
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The plot involves a series of murders and attempted murders and arson and burglaries, all of which you know are somehow going to connect. The "detective" is a well-off young widow (Carroll Davenport) who has her own construction business -- she finds the first body, and then another is found on her property (a fabulous house on the intracoastal), so the idiot police detective tries to pin the murders on her. Carroll is a spunky young Southern woman of a certain class who doesn't take anything from anyone (perhaps to her peril). One of the murder victims is her cousin and business partner, so she is inextricably involved, particularly as it becomes apparent that she has also become a target -- not to mention some others in her family & friends circle who are also apparently in danger. Carroll has on her side the county sheriff and an FBI agent in town for a rest.
The plotting was tight although I can't say I was TOTALLY surprised at the "who done it" conclusion. Some of the story would have benefitted from a careful read by a third party, since there was stuff that didn't make a whole lot of sense or pushed my credulity too much (anyone in our young detective's place would have not resisted body guards and hand guns as much as she did -- I would have been on a plane out of town by page 50 or so.) The tension between Carroll and the FBI agent is just too old a plot device -- you know that they're going to end up romantically involved, and her constantly getting mad at him for his justifiable concerns gets tiring very quickly.
This book has some of the shortcomings of a 1st book, but the author shows quite a lot of talent. All in all, this was a pageturner, and I look forward to reading more in the series.
I found both of the Canada books in a gift shop while visiting Wilmington this summer. What luck for me!
I couldn't put this first book down, and once completed moved on to the second book in the Davenport series. Even though a bit predictable, I found the characters very full and realistically presented. I immediately formed images of several, as if I were watching the story on film.
Especially Carroll, Ben, her grandmother and Randolph.
As others have reviewed, both books are page-turners. I'm not sure I've read anything recently that has so much action, so frequently. Almost every other page has a surprising encounter, explosion, or conflict for our main character.
It's fun to read books like this when the author has captured the settings so well.....like a photograph, or painting. Canada makes you feel you are in the Wilmington area, breathing the air and hearing the river sounds from the Cape Fear....with the characters! I had to check my body for scratches and bruises from the fights and singed eyebrows from the fires!
Author Wanda Canada has introduced a complex new mystery hero, Carroll Davenport, who tells her story with a wry candor that is clean, evocative, and direct. The second novel in the Carroll Davenport series, "Cape Fear Murders," fulfills the promise of this first entry. Both are enthusiastically recommended for mystery fans. David R. Bannon, Ph.D.; author, "Race Against Evil."