Review of Catch of the Dead by Lyndsey Cole

Once again, the reader is pulled in from the very first page.  This time, the story starts out with major family drama—Hannah and Ruby’s parents are in town, as well as a childhood rival of theirs.  After reading a letter that Great Aunt Caroline left for her, Hannah realizes that the reason her father and aunt were estranged was because her father wanted to buy Caroline’s property and bulldoze everything so that he could build a high-rise hotel which only the very rich would be able to afford.  Not only would this have tossed Caroline out on the street (she lived in one of the cabins on her property), it would have screwed up the local economy, a fact that their father seemed oblivious to, or maybe he just didn’t care…the latter prospect seems the more likely of the two, since his relationship with his aunt was rather strained, to put it mildly.

Right on cue, as soon as Hannah meets up with her parents, her father starts in with hints that she should unload “Caroline’s” business and get out while she can.  She ignores him, but while showing the cabin her parents will be staying in to her mother, her mother comes right out and says the same thing in plainer language, to which Hannah replies that she has no intention of doing any such thing.

The childhood rival, Adele, is even more annoying than she was while they were growing up, and Hannah is glad to be away from her for the rest of the night, as she had already made sleepover plans with her niece Olivia.  Hannah’s boyfriend Cal stays over as well, and the three of them (and Theodore the teddy bear) have fun eating pizza and roasted marshmallows.  Early the next morning Hannah’s neighbor and good friend Jack knocks on her door two hours earlier than expected, and when she and Cal step out onto the porch, he informs them that Adele was murdered on the beach the night before, and that a local young man was brought in for questioning.  Of course it won’t take long for Jack’s daughter Pam, a local police officer, to find out about Hannah and Ruby’s connection to Adele, and then she’ll be right back to suspecting Hannah of the murder (that woman is a broken record!), so naturally Hannah will have to find out who really did it to clear herself and her family of any suspicion…

I don’t want to give any spoilers here, but let’s just say the ending may end up surprising you…maybe not so much who the killer is (the author gives the reader just enough clues along the way to figure it out), but the fate of Hannah’s property rests on a pool game between herself and her father…and you won’t believe how that turns out!  But you’ll have to read for yourself to find out what happens…

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