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Reviews

Title: Key West Interlude: Paulette Marshall Mystery Series
Author: Lois Richman
Publisher: AuthorHouseUK
ISBN: 978-1-52465-188-6
Pages: 244
Genre: Fiction / Mystery & Detective / Women Sleuths
Reviewed by: Joe Kilgore


Pacific Book Review

Lois Richman puts the pedal to the metal on the very first page of this book and doesn’t slow down until she reaches the end of a drive filled with twists, turns, familial dysfunction and dastardly deeds done in the dead of night. Along the way, characters multiply exponentially, tributary stories become mainstream, and a loose end or two doesn’t quite get tied up. All of that however is seemingly secondary to infusing her tale with energy—which she does relentlessly.

The wild ride begins immediately with the gang-related murder of a young boy in a poor LA County middle school where Paulette Marshall works. After dealing with that tragedy, she hopes to find solace within the confines of the Bel Air mansion she shares with her husband, a high-rolling plastic surgeon. What she finds however, is just the opposite. After twenty-two years of marriage, he announces he wants a divorce so he can marry his young, blonde medical staffer he’s recently impregnated. Emotions explode. Legal wrangling begins. Soon Paulette is off to Key West to try to get her head back on straight.

Between the mainland and the far end of the keys, she witnesses a potential shooting and has all her valuables stolen. By the time she’s temporarily ensconced in her cousin’s beachside home, a second story begins. It concerns an aging Cuban charter boat captain who takes Paulette on her first tour. Before you can say “aye-aye,” the crux of the narrative has morphed into his past, his present, and the future he has planned for the eighteen year old high school girl he’s unknowingly put in a “family-way.” There’s also a third storyline about a young woman who ran away from home as a child, later jumped into the sea during a hurricane, and turns up from time to time to sponge off people as she hunts down her inheritance. While those subplots threaten to boil over, the police raid the home of Paulette’s cousin and arrest him on drug charges.

One would think that the majority of this yarn would be focused on how Paulette deals with all of the above. Yet the author has chosen to build the bulkhead of this speedboat around the Captain, his young paramour, nefarious financial dealings, smuggling, theft, dirty cops, and more. Paulette is certainly involved tangentially, but often plays second fiddle, until returning to her starring role near the end.

Richman has an ear for contemporary dialogue. She uses it early and often. Such use certainly speeds the pace, but a tendency to insert speech from characters that have yet to be introduced, sometimes slows comprehension.
According to the author, this is simply one installment in the Paulette Marshall Mystery Series. If other chronicles are as jet propelled as this one, readers will need bookmarks that come with seatbelts.

 

 

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Customer Reviews
Format: Paperback
Lois Richman, who has a background as a professional Hollywood writer, debuts her first book in WANTED: FIRST MATE. It is an imaginative mystery novel: well written and titillating, with great use of dialogue and narrative. Ms. Richman has spent years living in South Florida and the Caribbean where the plot takes place, so she is well informed on details of sailing, weather and local conditions.

This novel is not a "no-brainer" geared below the intelligence of the average reader. She invites you to keep focused and actively think along with her, as she develops several parallel plots that come together in an unforgettable conclusion.

 

 

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had no expectations about this book so I came to it with an open mind. I thought it would fit into the category of chick lit and it is titillating. But I think that it is more than that. At first I found the character of Ellie to be predictable and frustrating. But as the book moved on it became more interesting. The characters are well developed. There is a strong sense of the Florida lifestyle, weather conditions and sailing knowledge. This book in the end was entertaining, but makes you think. The author does not talk down to the reader. You have to persist with this book. There are a few surprises. I can see that it would generate some lively discussion which makes me think it is a good book to recommend to friends.

 

Format: Paperback
What a perfect read as we go into the winter season in the northern parts of the U.S. I can't wait to dive into this tropical scene. This author has hit the mark with previous works and her first book promises to be an insightful portrayal of true-to-life characters. Lois Richman should be on everyone's wish list this holiday season. WANTED: First Mate

 

By Don Kelley on October 13, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good book what a surprise ending!

 


 

 

 

 
 

 
 

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