Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Book Review: Much Ado About Nauticaling by Gabby Allan


After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass-bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life--and a murder victim?

The self-proclaimed Master of the Island, Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother's name, Whit will have to investigate Jules' shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members--with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit's ex-boyfriend who's looking to rekindle their relationship


Gabby Allan’s debut book Much Ado About Nauticaling is a Feldmans good cozy mystery, perfect for a summer beach read.

Whitney and her brother Nick own and operate a flat bottom boat named Nautically Yours on the island of Catalina in California. One of Catalina’s promenade residents is murdered and Nick gets the blame. It doesn’t help that he runs and stays hidden throughout the book casting even more suspicion on him, so it is up to Whitney to clear his name.

The story takes off early, catching your attention and keeping it, in fact, you will find yourself finishing it before you realize it. The writing is clear and engaging and Gabby Allan’s description of Catalina is so visual you can practically see it in your mind. I also loved the times she wrote about them giving tours on the boat. I love sailing, and even though the boat wasn’t a sailboat, I could still visualize the smell of the ocean and the feel of the salty water stinging on my face as it sailed on the wind.

Allan’s characters are all well written. Quirky characters abound in this book and you will quickly find a few favorites, mine was her grandmother Goldie, I could picture her so visibly in my head with the help of Allan’s writing. Several of the secondary character you will also find that you will dislike, for me, Nick was one of them, for the mere reason, he ran off making him look guilty and leaving poor Whitney with running the boat business, her own gift store business and trying to solve the mystery to clear his name. The story wasn't impossible to figure out, but the writer did well at making you doubt yourself on several people.

Much Ado About Nauticaling is the first book in a series by Gabby Allan titled  Whit and Whiskers Mystery and I enjoyed Much Ado About Nauticaling enough to want to pick up the second one when it comes out to revisit the island of Catalina and see what Whit has gotten into next.