Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Mai Tai One On by Jill Marie Landis


Publisher's Blurb:

Book 1 of The Tiki Goddess Series
Six months ago, if anyone would have told Em Johnson she'd end up divorced, broke, and running the dilapidated Tiki Goddess Bar on the magical North Shore of Kauai she would have told them to shove a swizzle stick up their okole.
As if all that isn't bad enough, when an obnoxious neighbor with a grudge is found dead in the Goddess luau pit, suspicion falls on Em and the rest of the Goddess staff. With the help of a quirky dance troupe of over-the-hill Hula Maidens, Em and the cast of characters must ban together to find the killer and solve the mystery before the next pupu party.

Mai Tai One On is the first book of a new series, and it is a quirky, fun, delightful escape.  Part mystery, part chick lit, and 100% enjoyable, Mai Tai One On takes place in beautiful Kauai at a run-down old landmark bar called the Tiki Goddess.  Owned by Em's Uncle Louie, who may or may not be suffering from senility, it is a tourist hot spot and local watering hole.  Em's arrival is a second chance for both her and the financially floundering bar.  After a humiliating and painful divorce back in Southern California, Em has started to come into her own managing the bar.  She has earned the respect and affections of her uncle, the new bartender running from a shady past, and a troupe of wacky "seasoned" ladies who are members of the Hula Maidens.  After a universally disliked neighbor is murdered and dumped into the Tiki Goddess' luau pit, Em and the Maidens decide to conduct their own investigation after the local police focus on Sophie, the new bartender with secrets.
Adding to the cast of characters is Roland, the hunky police detective who moonlights as a fire dancer.  Although the sexual attraction between Roland and Em is present, it is barely touched upon, and is secondary to the mystery and Em's adventures.  Readers who enjoy books without overt sexual scenes will love this enjoyable mystery lightly tinged with the beginnings of a romance.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.


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