MURDER AT THE MARINA
A Mollie McGhee Cozy Sailing Mystery
by Ellen Jacobson
A dilapidated sailboat for your anniversary—not very romantic. A dead body on board—even worse.
Mollie McGhie is hoping for diamonds for her tenth wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband presents her with a dilapidated sailboat. Just one problem—she doesn’t know anything about boats, nor does she want to.
When Mollie discovers someone murdered on board, she hopes it will convince her husband that owning a boat is a bad idea. Unfortunately, he’s more determined than ever to fix the boat up and set out to sea.
Mollie finds herself drawn into the tight-knit community living at Palm Tree Marina in Coconut Cove, a small town on the Florida coast. She uncovers a crime ring dealing in stolen marine equipment, investigates an alien abduction, eats way too many chocolate bars, adopts a cat, and learns far more about sailing than she ever wanted to.
Can Mollie discover who the murderer is before her nosiness gets her killed?
Mollie was hoping to get diamonds for their wedding anniversary. Instead, her husband surprises her with a sailboat, and not one in the best condition. Not wanting to burst his bubble but unable to quite see his sudden dreams of sailing open seas on a red wreck, she heads to the marina for a few days while hoping to find a way out of the mess. When the boat seller turns up murdered on their boat, the mess heads for complete disaster. Luckily, Mollie is on her way to become an investigative reporter and carries an ample amount of chocolate at all times.
While this is a nicely woven murder mystery with twists and turns which leave the reader guessing until the very end, it's Mollie who makes this book special—her and the other characters. Mollie seems quiet and well-mannered but oh does she have her interesting quirks! Not only does she swear on chocolate as a remedy to all situations (I love her for this attribute), but she's got her friendly, caring nose in every nook which she thinks might help her discover the truth behind the murder. Some of this is due to sheer bad luck, some to her bubbly curiosity, but much of it is due to her dream to become an investigative reporter for FAROUT. Now, this might seem like a normal dream for a main character of a murder mystery, but the author weaves in some attributes to Mollie's dream, which make her character all the more fun, curious, odd and simply lovely.
The entire mystery takes place at a marina and the small surrounding town. Here, it becomes obvious that the author loves and knows the setting inside and out, but she never assumes that the reader will be as knowledgeable when it comes to boats and marinas. Mollie has no clue about any of it, and the author uses her inexperience to introduce the reader to the world. And this works well. It's easy to fall into the scenes and soon feel a familiarity to the marina setting.
The other characters have their very own individual traits, dreams, thoughts and desires. Each one comes across in their very own way, but it's often not clear whether they are trust worthy or not. Just as a good mystery should be.
Despite the light-hearted atmosphere Mollie and the rest of the read radiate, the more serious side of the murder mystery lurks constantly in the background. The murderer is dangerous and Mollie finds herself in a couple tense situations. Life isn't always M&Ms and rainbows either, as serious problems and criminal activities also comes into play. Still, Mollie's wonderful attitude manages it all and makes this a read to dive into and enjoy.
I can't wait to see where Mollie's adventures will take her next.