Aloha! I have spent the last couple of weeks on the Big Island of Hawaii and did something I haven’t been able to much of this past year. I read! My to read pile has been steadily growing for some time, and it was wonderful to take some time out of my writing and working life to catch up. Here are a couple of books I finished over my vacation, and highly recommend:

LOYALTY – by Ingrid Thoft

This is Book 1 of the Fina Ludlow series. Fina works as a private investigator for her father’s law firm, as do her brothers who are lawyers in the firm. When her sister-in-law goes missing, she’s called in to find out where she’s gone. I enjoyed Fina’s kick ass personality throughout the book, and the family dynamics she had to navigate in order to uncover the truth. I don’t want to give away too much on the family aspect – but suffice it to say my family is near perfect in comparison to what Fina deals with regularly!

Ingrid Thoft does a nice job of making most of the characters relatable, and the motivations clear. While Fina may be less than traditional, and takes a few more brutalities than I think most women would endure, she does it in stride. The story kept me guessing. And even though there are a lot of characters to keep track of, I found the mystery engaging. Highly recommend this book, and am looking forward to reading Book 2, Identity.


I fell in love with Maggie in this Louisiana setting. Maggie is drawn into a case when two of the guests at her parents’ B&B die. Plantation Shudders is a fun and light read, but the author does a great job of setting you right down in Cajun country and giving an education on the culture.

Maggie and her family are relatable and endearing. I wished Gran, Maggie’s grandmother, was in my family tree! Ellen Byron did a great job of making me detest a particular police officer, and rooting for another. Suspects were plenty, and the reveal was unexpected. As a mystery writer, I usually have a sense of where the story is going. But I was pleasantly surprised at the twist. I walked away with a new vocabulary and a desire to head to New Orleans in the future.

I’m looking forward to the next book in the series, Body on the Bayou, and already have it queued up on my IPad!

I’m half way through Dana Stabenow’s Though Not Dead, and learning a lot about Alaska. I’ll let you know what I think soon!

My question for you: How do you like to spend your relaxing time on vacation?


PS – Below is a shot from my trip to Hawaii!