Friday, July 01, 2011

FFB Review: "Conch Shell Murder" by Dorothy Francis

For Friday’s Forgotten Books this week, it seemed only fitting to take you to the beach via a cozy read. After all, it is a holiday weekend……..

As this comfortable cozy opens, Private Detective Katie Hasworth arrives back home in Key West. Upon her arrival, she finds out from her friend and landlord, Diane, that Diane's mother is dead. Alexa Chitting was a difficult woman to say the least and Diane does not believe the Police are doing enough. The Police believe it was a robbery that went too far but Diane is convinced that her mother was murdered. She wants Katie to investigate.

This is a new career and lifestyle for Katie as she works to put several painful events of the past behind her. This would be her first case, a case that her partner and mentor in the agency has rejected stating that the Police have a good handle on things. With misgivings and trepidation, Katie accepts the case and once past her shaky start, begins to make headway. Along the trail as she seeks a murderer, she will find romance, politics and environmental issues as well as a host of suspects that had a personal stake in the life and death of Alexa Chitting.

At 245 pages in hardback, Conch Shell Murder is a fast read with a minimum of violence. "Cozy" in every sense of the word, Dorothy Francis spins a world where self-interest led to murder in the island paradise of Key West. The author has a strong eye for detail and brings the characters as well as the rich cultural background of Key West to life for her readers. Strong diverse characters, rich local color, and an engaging case make this novel well worth the read. 

For the complete list of Friday's Forgotten Books, see 

Kevin R. Tipple ©2003, 2011


Anonymous said...

To my shame - hangs head - I'm really tired of mysteries or SF that play the environmental card. Whether it's bad corporation breaking rules, hidden plots, toxic spills, whatever, I've just had it up to here. It's too easy for authors to pick this one and use it to make a plot. I wish they'd come up with something that's original, as this was 30 years ago (or more!).

Kevin R. Tipple said...

A psychic vampire, perhaps?

Todd Mason said...

A dashingly romantic psychic vampire who only imperils children with environmental destruction! Also good with his fists.

Kevin R. Tipple said...

Though he carries a .45 and a haunted past, he may once again feel the love of a good woman. The fact that he can cook better than Spenser should help.