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Murder on Mokulua Drive: A Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mystery

Murder on Mokulua Drive

Murder on Mokulua Drive
Author: Jeanne Burrows-Johnson

ISBN: 978-1-932926-60-6 - Hardback
ISBN: 978-1-932926-62-0 - eBook
Publication Date: February 10, 2018
Price: $29.95 (hardback)
Pages: 302

Journalist Natalie Seachrist has experienced visions throughout her life. When she has one about a little Jewish girl escaping by boat from Denmark in a murky predawn morning, she has no idea how scenes resembling a World War II movie will impact her twenty-first century life in Hawai`i. Soon after, she and her boyfriend, homicide-detective-turned-private-investigator Keoni Hewitt, move into the Lanikai cottage she has recently inherited from her Auntie Carrie.

The warm welcome they receive from Miriam Didión (a widowed human rights activist) sets an ideal tone for life in their delightful shoreline neighborhood. By the time Natalie throws Keoni a birthday party, she has become close to Miriam and her personable housemates Joanne and Izzy, and their new housekeeper Samantha. Even Miss Una, Natalie's feline companion, has embraced the women who live next door, as she keeps watch over their property each night.

Unfortunately, the bliss of seaside living evaporates when Natalie experiences a horrifying vision of a scuba diver garroting a woman. The following morning a body is discovered in the neighbor's maid's quarters and Natalie is forced to reveal her murderous vision to Keoni's former partner, Honolulu Police Detective John Dias.

Hoping her unique skills will again prove useful, the Lieutenant asks Natalie and her twin Nathan (a psychologist) to examine the victim's journals. The decades-long commentary proves fascinating although it yields no clues. But when a nefarious suspect's body is found at Diamond Head Beach, the case appears solved.

Believing that her life of semi-retirement is back on track, Natalie plans a tour of historic Kawai Nui Marsh. Too soon the day of playing tourist devolves into a nightmare. When Keoni points out the possibility of an unexpected threat Natalie realizes that she and her new friends are caught in the cross hairs of a dangerous adversary.

Does resolution of the gruesome murder lie in the deceased's transnational past? Or in the visible present among innocuous seeming companions?



Visit the author's website to learn more about Murder on Mokulua Drive and the other books in the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mystery series: JeanneBurrows-Johnson.com

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Reviews

The US Review of Books

"…it had seemed like life was finally moving away from deadly matters."

If life is what happens when you’re making other plans, then in a cozy mystery, murder is what happens when you’re making life. Such is the way of things for Natalie Seachrist who, in her second outing in this series, is at a relatively happy crossroads—moving in with her boyfriend Keoni and relaxing into a warm and welcoming community—until murder interrupts the peaceful idyll.

Shocked by the death of a new friend and deeply troubled by psychic dreams that may have foreshadowed and revealed details about the murder, Natalie and her close-knit community of colorful characters are rocked by the jarring homicide and desperate for answers. Life gets further complicated when a face from Natalie’s past arrives to solve the case, making for a crowded and potentially awkward situation just when Natalie and Keoni were set to enjoy this new stage in their relationship.

This author knows her genre, and she skillfully blends familiar ingredients that faithful cozy mystery readers will appreciate. The story is further enhanced with several compelling flourishes. First, the author draws on the rich history of Denmark’s safe evacuation of its Jewish population during World War II and integrates this legacy into her 21st-century characters. Next, while cozy sleuths are often known for their intuition, Natalie’s dreams are downright prescient, bringing a mystical quality to the crime-solving activities. Finally, the book’s love affair with its Hawaiian setting is contagious, and the location details create an alluring atmosphere. All these added components bring depth and freshness to a familiar format. If the mystery itself fails to hold the reader at seat’s edge for the final reveal, the book creates sufficient curiosity that, when paired with the friendly cast and creative touches, the novel makes a pleasant and satisfying diversion for a cozy afternoon.





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