Things are going well for corporate trainer and body language expert Julie O’Hara. It’s taken her years to rebuild her life after losing her husband in a tragic accident on Castle Cay during their honeymoon. But tragedy strikes again when Julie’s good friend Marc Solomon commits suicide. A talented artist, Marc was also enjoying life, despite living with AIDS. After meeting Marc’s nasty brother Avram and learning about odd financial wranglings involving Castle Cay, Julie begins to doubt whether Marc’s death truly was suicide.
Castle Cay is a cozy mystery with a lot going on, and a fairly large portion of it is backstory. I like the way the author shows how key characters met, and how Julie’s life changed over the years, but I didn’t like that the backstory was in italics. There were far too many exclamation marks, unnecessary details, stilted dialogue, and action scenes that could have been more suspenseful. When you have people shooting one another, it’s never a good idea to start sentences with “then he, then they….”
All of this suggests the work of an inexperienced author who simply needs more practice and a good editor who’ll bring out the best in her work. It’s too bad because I loved the settings, and Julie’s an interesting character. Also, I don’t understand why the table of contents was at the back of the ebook. It’s probably a formatting glitch, but one that should be corrected asap.