Thursday, June 28, 2012

A Good Beach Read

Libby Holladay, an historic preservationist, unexpectedly inherits the 1800s Tidewater Inn and some valuable beach front property on Hope Island from the father she thought died when she was five. Her partner, Nicole, learns of the inheritance when she's on Hope Island hoping to close a deal to buy and restore the old lifesaving station. As she tells Libby about her good fortune, two men grab her and force her into a boat. Libby rushes to Hope Island to look for her friend and find out about her mysterious inheritance. At Hope Island, she falls in love with the scenic town, but finds herself the main suspect in the disappearance of her friend. Libby is met with hostility by the brother and sister she didn't know she had, but is welcomed by other members of the community including her Aunt Pearl and a handsome Coast Guard Captain.

Libby is a very likable character. She meets hostility with grace and generosity and never stops believing that Nicole will be found alive. Alec, the Coast Guard Captain, is likewise a strong Christian character. He believes in Libby's innocense and helps her keep looking for Nicole. Aunt Pearl is a delightful character, exactly the kind of aunt you'd want to welcome you into the family.

I enjoyed the characters and setting for Tidewater Inn, but the plot, although there were interesting twists, didn't give the reader enough clues to help solve the mystery. I felt the attempt to keep Libby as the primary suspect was forced, and the final revelation of the villain was unexpected. I find that unfair in a mystery book. However, it's a great summer read. The setting on Hope Island is delightful and the Christian message, excellent.

I reviewed this book for the Thomas Nelson Booksneeze Program.