Much Ado about Nauticaling

Kensington. (Whit & Whiskers, Bk. 1). Jul. 2021. 304p. ISBN 9781496731067. pap. $14.49. M
Whitney Dagner is moving home to Catalina Island, but not to escape something horrible like a cheating boyfriend or a job that blew up. Instead, she’s leaving the corporate world because she wants to join her brother Nick in running the tourist business that has been in her family for over 100 years. There, she takes groups on glass-bottom boat rides, while planning the grand opening of her gift shop. After taking the Chamber of Commerce for a cruise on the Sea Bounder, Whitney and Nick are shocked to see the corpse of wealthy Jules Tisdale, the town’s soon-to-be-named “Person of the Year,” floating under the boat. The police name Nick as the primary suspect in Tisdale’s death, and he takes off, crashes his golf cart, and then vanishes. Whitney had thought that her grandparents were leaving the family business in capable hands when Nick first took over from them; now she isn’t so sure. She turns reluctant amateur sleuth and teams up with her grandparents, her roommate, and an ex-boyfriend to search for other suspects. Even her cat Whiskers has a small role to play in gathering evidence.
VERDICT The first in a new series by Allan, who has written cozies under a different name. It has an original setting and a unique job for the amateur sleuth, and it’s a refreshing change to read about a sleuth who’s not fleeing her past. Suggest to readers of Bree Baker’s “Seaside Café” mysteries.
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