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Murder Casts a Shadow: A Hawaii Mystery (A Latitude 20 Book) Paperback – July 25, 2008
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From the Publisher
Honolulu in the 1930s is a unique (and volatile) mix of the provincial and the urban, East and West, islander and mainlander. Mina and Ned, both of Polynesian descent, confront the complexities and contradictions of Island life as their investigation takes them into the heart of Honolulu society and close-knit local families, whose intricate histories and relationships will have a direct impact on future lives and events. A lively cast of characters aids Mina and Ned in their search for answers: Cecily Chang, an antiques and explosives expert, steers them through Chinatown's back alleys; Hinano Kahana, a hula chanter and dancer, brings Ned closer to solving an ancient riddle; Mina's grandmother, Hannah, helps them unlock a secret from the past.
Prewar Honolulu comes to life in this thoroughly entertaining mystery that evokes a colorful bygone era.
About the Author
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Top Customer Reviews
She creates the Hawaii that was--in ways that I could correlate it with the Hawaii that I saw in 2008. Great insight into her characters, the Hawaiian stage productions, and their sense of history and connection to the royal family.
I highly recomemd this book, and I look forward to the next book based on these characters.
A few things bothered me, though, and one was Point of View. The author jumps around from Mina's to Ned's point of view, usually in little sections, but sometimes in the same paragraph, which is disconcerting, sort of like a loud, unexpected crash. Because the author has two heroes, there is less drive and less tension. The story doesn't drive toward a conclusion, it kind of ambles toward the conclusion from a couple of different directions. And in regard to the solution of the mystery, I never find it satisfying when the "answer" comes to somebody in a dream or a vision.
The author also did not verify slang expressions from the 1930s. She has one character tell another to not "get bent out of shape." Reading this in a 1930s setting startled me, so I checked a very good slang dictionary, which listed that particular idiom as entering American English after the year 1950.
This novel's strongest features are the setting and the characters. If you like mysteries and like Hawaii, I suggest that you read Murder Casts a Shadow.
Besides serving as an unofficial escort for the portraits of the Hawaiian King and Queen, Ned is also in the process of helping with the local production of his new play which features various suspects among the cast and crew. Both of Polynesian descent, Mina and Ned continue to dig deeper, and despite their best efforts, they must also contend with their growing affection for each other.
Kneubuhl effectively mixes Hawaiian history and fascinating, colorful characters in a complex mystery that is a spellbinding page-turner that keeps the reader wanting more. I'm looking forward to checking out the next book in Kneubuhl's series, "Murder Leaves Its Mark."