Iced in Paradise

Prospect Park. (Leilani Santiago Hawai’i, Bk. 1). Sept. 2019. 216p. ISBN 9781945551635. $25.95; pap. ISBN 9781945551598. $16.00. M
After five years in Seattle, Leilani Santiago returns home to the island of Kaua’i in Hawai’i. Her mother has multiple sclerosis, and Leilani wants to help her family with their business, Santiago Shave Ice. When her estranged father, Tommy, returns with his surfing protégé, Luke Hightower, she’s a little resentful—with four daughters, Tommy always wanted a son. Then Luke’s body is found in the shave ice shack, and Tommy becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Leilani can’t believe her father killed Luke, so she juggles a long-distance relationship, the family business, and a budding friendship with a local shop owner to search for the killer. In her first book set in Hawai’i, the Edgar Award–winning Hirahara emphasizes Hawaiian culture while shedding light on native Hawaiian issues with land. It takes time to adjust to the pidgin, Hawaiian, and Japanese words, but, fortunately, the author of the “Mas Arai” mysteries provides a glossary.
VERDICT Featuring family loyalties, surfing, and a distinct lifestyle, this character-driven, atmospheric mystery may appeal to new adults and those readers interested in Hawaiian culture.

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