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Orcas Intrigue (The Chameleon Chronicles) (Volume 1) Paperback – October 18, 2016
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About the Author
Laura Gayle is the nom de plume of two friends who were ready to collaborate. Shannon Page was born on Halloween night and raised without television on a back-to-the-land commune in California. Her work has appeared in Clarkesworld, Interzone, Fantasy, Black Static, Tor.com, and many anthologies. Books include Eel River; the collection Eastlick and Other Stories; and Our Lady of the Islands, co-written with the late Jay Lake. Her many editing credits include the essay collection The Usual Path to Publication. Shannon is a longtime yoga practitioner, has no tattoos, and is an avid gardener at home with her husband, Mark Ferrari, in Portland, Oregon. She has a tiny office made from a toolshed in the back yard, and still doesn’t have a television. Visit her at www.shannonpage.net. Karen G. Berry has lived in or near Portland, Oregon, for over thirty years. She has failed to transcend her solidly Midwestern upbringing—no yoga, no tiny office, no garden, no husband. She does have three grown daughters, two small dogs, and several thousand books. She also has one television but it doesn’t work very well so she feels like it shouldn’t count. A social media professional by day, she is an extensively published poet, with work appearing in Goblin Fruit, Prairie Poetry, Fireweed, and many more print and online journals. Karen is the author of one novel (affectionately referred to as “that trailer park murder-mystery”), Love and Mayhem at the Francie June Memorial Trailer Park. Visit her at www.karengberry.mywriting.network/
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This can be awkward at times, as you might imagine. In fact, when we first meet her, she's escaping a failed relationship where her chameleon-ing messed things up by agreeing to suddenly take off for this small island and house sit a gazillion-dollar estate for a former hairdresser client.
I wanted to like this one more than i did. The biggest issue for me is that although all the hallmarks/trappings of a "curl up on a comfy chair on a rainy day and experience a small town with eccentric characters while solving a murder' were there, this read like the first 2/3's of that kind of book, with absolutely nada resolved at the end.
Except for the local police finally seeming to believe Cam that her neighbor shot someone, and that all the weird zuchinnis and notes and catfood being left on her doorstep is cause for alarm.
Cam, despite being heartbroken and wanting her ex to come hug her whenever things get spooky, views every single guy she meets with eyes that gauge attractiveness and constantly tells herself "no, you're heartbroken why are you even noticing, you just want to be friends." Even about the policeman.
So my biggest problem isn't really the characters, or the setting, or the mystery. All of those things are fun and engaging, its just that this doesn't actually follow the rules of a cozy mystery, and all of my questions and suspicions about the residents of Orcas Island (and there are many) are left completely unanswered. Until the next book. Which, despite my griping, I may have to go get just to find out what happens next to Cam, and who murdered the prior caretaker, and what exactly is going on?
Warning: It's too short and will leave you wanting more.