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Reads Like Murder in Honolulu Review

April 29, 2010

Dream Books LLC, June 18, 2009
eBook, 491 Pages
ISBN: 978-1-61584-150-9
Ordering Information: | Dream Books LLC Store

The more one reads about the magic of Hawaii, the more you could fall in love with the Pacific Islands state. Reads Like Murder in Honolulu by Georgina Donovan transports the reader to where a myth meets mystery.

The story begins with a lovely bookstore owner named Hayley Wyndham. She finds herself hypnotized in a routine bike ride when a sudden hit-and-run jars her in to a mystery right off the pages of her beloved books. The day is made worse by a break in of her business. However, all is left in the capable hands of the San Diego police as she answers the call of a fellow book lover. Although this visit would be anything but normal. With a hunky Hawaiian cop, Keoni Chase, along for the ride, the two sail down a rabbit hole full of kidnappings, murders, myths and even a little romance. Will they solve the mystery of Mokuaina Pu’uhonua?

Upon reading this book, I often had the “Why did you do that?” feeling. For example, Hayley finds a book, ship logs, in her friend Kana’s apartment. She believes this book is a part of the case but yet didn’t take it to some secret location. Just left if for some intruder to return and find it, particularly the one who already tried to break in. Would someone who reads mystery novels on a regular basis do that? Leave a key piece of evidence for the bad guys to find? Although there wasn’t many clues to allow a reader to lean in one or more characters direction. A lot of sneaking and following but not much to direct the reader until closer to the end. In certain scenes it comes off as if the civilian was doing more of the heavy lifting than the handsome lieutenant. The same lieutenant in which she gets “close” to but yet never fully explores the relationship. That is until the very end. I think if you’re going to tease the reader with some romance, there should be actual romance.

However, the plot holes and on occasion, redundant descriptions don’t compare to all of the typographical and grammatical mistakes: missing commas and words, misspellings, quotation marks and the abundance of dashes throughout. Supposedly, this novel was re-released to fix these errors. Either I wasn’t given one of the revised copies or this hasn’t taken place yet (I’ve been told these structural mishaps have all been fixed by a Dream Books representative). The pacing tends to slow to a crawl in certain scenes. Complex words tend to appear out of no where like the author wore out her thesaurus. The chapter lengths are a bit wonky (some are a few pages while others are over a hundred). The list goes on. I did enjoy the story line. Although, I think if Ms. Donovan gave this novel an overhaul, if it hasn’t been done yet, Reads Like Murder in Honolulu has the potential to be an excellent read.

Andrea Allison has two digital copies of this book to giveaway. For more information on how you can obtain one, check out her blog Ghost Stories.
  1. shakespeare permalink
    April 29, 2010 4:00 am

    This isn’t an article on writing but mere drivel intented to fill your column and waste our time. Your column is without doubt the worst of what is otherwise a very useful site. I hope the site owner replaces you and the sooner the better.

    P.S. I’m sure this won’t actually find its way onto the site. Censorship rules ok! But at least the censor will read it and know what people think.

  2. April 29, 2010 9:38 am

    Thanks for this book review Andrea. Its always refreshing to have different peoples views on new publications out there. well. The crime genre is not one I would initially go and pick up – so its great to read your opinion. If you were going to die..paradise would be somewhere you’d choose…. (not knowing what Honolulu is actually like – just imagining it from little references I have had on TV shows and in books)…..

    In saying the above about crime, I do like a good mystery and one that keeps you turning the page.. so it looks as though – despite its small shortcomings in the grammar department, this book did just that for you.

    Thanks again for the review.

  3. April 29, 2010 10:28 am

    Andrea, I enjoyed your review. Very honest and thoughtful. Think of this though. Have you read the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer? The first book is full of grammatical (and other) errors, but it still sold well. I must say, the story line was good.

    And to Shakespeare. Don’t be hatin’.

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