Tuesday, April 2, 2024




 Retired caterer Valerie Corbin and her wife Kristen have come to the Big Island of Hawaii to treat themselves to a well-earned tropical vacation. After the recent loss of her brother, Valerie is in sore need of a distraction from her troubles and is looking forward to enjoying the delicious food and vibrant culture the state has to offer.Early one morning, the couple and their friend - tattooed local boy, Isaac - set out to see an active lava flow, and Valerie is mesmerized by the shape-shifting mass of orange and red creeping over the field of black rock. Spying a boot in the distance, she strides off alone, pondering how it could have gotten there, only to realize to her horror that the boot is still attached to a leg - a leg which is slowly being engulfed by the hot lava. Valerie's convinced a murder has been committed - but as she's the only witness to the now-vanished corpse, who's going to believe her?Determined to prove what she saw, and get justice for the unknown victim, Valerie launches her own investigation. But, thrown into a Hawaiian culture far from the luaus and tiki bars of glossy tourist magazines, she soon begins to fear she may be the next one to end up entombed in shiny black rock . 


Valerie and her wife Kristen are spending their holiday in Hawaii to help Valerie heal from the death of her brother.

One of the first things they do is visit an active volcano where Valerie sees a body almost covered in lava before quickly disappearing. Despite no one really believing her she decides to investigate .

The plot of the story is the body in the lava, the star of the book is Hawaii itself. The scenery, the language, the food and the culture is all expertly described and written, the entire time I read I could practically feel the sand between my ties and the soothing sea breezes in my hair.

When I was growing up, my father was in a Navy, for five of those years he was stationed in Hawaii and I have also since visited with my husband, so reading Molten Death was such a treat for me, bringing back memories of the Pidgin and the places, and had me instantly wanting to make another trip over. 

For people who may not understand the Pidgin and Hawaiian terms in the story, and there are a lot of this in the book, because it is the way the islanders speak, Karst has provided a very helpful glossary at the end of the book that I know will be very helpful to many readers. Oh, and also she included recipes of the wonderful food in the book. I think this is the perfect read to plan you a little luau this summer in your back yard!

Oh yeah, there is also a mystery in this book, two actually, one with the volcano and another about some missing avocados. It is a very cozy mystery that includes some low key investigating and small bits of action. The characters in the book are plentiful and some are rather shady, but I also found most are likable to at least a point. Every thing wraps up nice and tidy at the end and sets the stage for the couple to move to the island and possibly find a few more mysteries, after all it is the first in a new series by the author.

Molten Death is a fast read, and it is a fun read, so grab it find a hammock and dream of the warm summer ahead...then go ahead and plan a trip, this book will have you wanting to visit Hawaii!

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