Book Review, Mystery

Book Review: Whiskey Beach

Oh Nora Roberts…you magnificent, wonderful storyteller, you.

To say that I loved Whiskey Beach is an understatement. I couldn’t put it down.

Nora Robert is America’s best-selling mystery and romance author, and for good reason. This woman can tell a story. She can craft believable characters you can care about. Whiskey Beach doesn’t disappoint.

In this mystery/romance novel, Eli Landon moves back to his grandmother’s house in Whiskey Beach, a fictional Massachusetts beach community. Eli has been through a hellish year. His unfaithful wife, Lindsay, was murdered, and the murder pinned on him by a Javert-like detective named appropriately, Wolffe.  His grandmother took a bad fall down the mansion stairs and is recovery at his parents’ house, so Eli agrees to move back to Whiskey Beach.  It’s a homecoming of sorts; he grew up spending summers at the family’s 200+ year old mansion. The family’s wealth was made distilling whiskey, and they’ve owned Bluff House, the family mansion, for over 200 years.

What follows Eli’s return is a romance with yoga instructor/cleaning woman Abra, reunions with old friends, and the acquisition of a Chesapeake retriever dog named Barbie.  We move seamlessly through Eli and Abra’s romance, a mystery involving break-ins at Bluff House, a pirate treasure, and the solution to several murders and the assault on Eli’s grandmother.

There’s a pirate treasure.  Murder. Adultery. Dogs. Beaches. Friends. Family. Long descriptions of antiques and exquisite meals.  A secret passageway.  Plot twists, turns and revelations that keep you turning pages.

What else can you want in a novel?

I can’t tell you more because it will give away the mystery, and the last page is one of the most perfect, satisfying and well written endings I have read in a long time.  Just perfect.  Not only did it end the mystery once and for all, but I actually felt my heart warm, if that is possible…”heart warming” really does happen.  I put the book aside, blinked away tears, and wishes it didn’t end.

In my wildest dreams I want to write like Nora Roberts when I grow up.  Aside from some peculiar adjectival clauses in her writing style that drive me nuts, her ability to weave plots, characters and locations into an entrancing tale is a true gift.

Whiskey Beach. Beg, borrow or buy a copy. It’s worth the read! (My own copy came from the public library.)

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