Murder on the Spanish Seas

Polis. (Jesse O’Hara, Bk. 1). May 2022. 320p. ISBN 9781951709853. $26.99. THRILLER
DEBUT Jesse O’Hara is at loss for what to do next. She has just lost another job because she is sarcastic and mouthy. When her friend Sam offers her a gift of a luxury cruise around the Iberian Peninsula, Jesse reluctantly accepts, not having anything better to do. She figures she’ll get drunk a few times and be bored for most of it. But in a pub on the lower decks, Jesse witnesses an altercation between a Russian couple that arouses her curiosity. She follows the man after she witnesses him hand a crew member a black backpack resulting in the Russian angrily confronting her in stairwell. On day three, a body is taken from the ship and passengers are told it is an individual who fell overboard. But was it an accident? Jesse soon realizes that something more is at stake and someone is playing a deadly game. The danger continues to escalate to a satisfying finish.
VERDICT Church has penned a whip-smart, sarcastic, amateur sleuth and a tightly plotted story that’s perfect for fans of Ruth Ware, Catriona McPherson, and Darynda Jones. Readers will want to see Jesse again.
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