Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mystery Book Review: Boca Moon by Frank Foster

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of Boca Moon by Frank Foster. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.Boca Moon by Frank Foster

Boca Moon by
Non-series

Hilliard & Harris (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 1-59133-218-4 (1591332184)
ISBN-13: 978-1-59133-218-3 (9781591332183)
Publication Date: August 2007
List Price: $28.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): Lynn Woo's former commanding officer in Naval Intelligence is vacationing on a tropical island in Southwest Florida. Retired Admiral Whit Jenkins' son-in-law chooses the wrong night to take his infrared camera to the salty back bays in search of panthers. He pays for it with his life and Lynn discovers his murdered, mutilated body strung between two mangrove trees. It's been years since she's seen the result of violent death and she hasn't missed it.

But now Lynn must tell Jenkins about the murder, and, ignoring her new back bay nature tour business, she plunges into the investigation. Along the way, Lynn deals with more murders, live alligators, seamy commercial fishermen, a fiery Seminole Indian girl, and attempts on her own life. She's helped by her best island friend, who is a mammoth, black sheriff's deputy, and her lover, who is a hand-washing germ freak. It all happens in a real place - Boca Grande - a tony tropical island on Florida's southwest coast. It's home to coconut palms and banyans, pelicans and iguanas, and rich people who mingle freely with the island folks.

When Lynn Woo closes in on a den of greed and ego which will stop at nothing, including murder, she's met with a jolting surprise ending to this twisting tale of tropical skullduggery.

Review: Frank Foster's debut mystery, Boca Moon, has as its central character the smart, street-wise, and tough Lynn Woo, a former Navy diver, and is set on the southwest Florida island of Boca Grande (about half-way between and the Everglades), shortened to just "Boca" by its residents.

Three men, who are on Boca Grande for very different reasons, are murdered within a very short time of each other. Millard Savage, the first to die, had come to Boca for a month’s vacation with his wife and his father-in-law, Ret. Admiral Whitman Jenkins IV. Next, Sammy Osceola, a full blooded Seminole Indian, had come down to Boca from Tallahassee for a few days to visit with Lynn, his friend from college, and to see his daughter studying at Florida State. Finally there was Aubry Lowe, a fisherman and guide who had lived in Boca his whole life. It is up to the local police force, with the unsolicited help of Lynn, to solve the mystery linking these crimes.

This intriguing book has a lot going for it. The unconventional characters are appealing and Boca Grande is the perfect setting for a mystery. The narrative is fast-paced and the conclusion thrilling. Late in the story, how Lynn escapes from her assailants, finding herself 18 miles off-shore in the cold waters of the Gulf of Mexico, is truly compelling.

The only downside to the book is the author's insistence in relating what each person is wearing at all hours of the day or night, whether they were about to go fishing or getting ready to dine at a fine restaurant. Not only is it distracting, it takes away from the suspense of story he's written.

Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of for contributing her review of Boca Moon and to Strategic Vision for providing a copy of the book for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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