Sunday 23 February 2020

Handbags & Homicide (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #12) by Anne Marie Stoddard

Handbags & Homicide (Aloha Lagoon Mysteries #12)
From USA Today bestselling author Anne Marie Stoddard comes another fabulously fashionable mystery in paradise...
Kaley Kalua is ecstatic when her best friend announces that she’s getting married and bringing the pre-wedding celebration to Aloha Lagoon! As the maid of honor, Kaley can't wait to see her bride-to-be bestie, Emma—that is, until Emma shows up on the island with a few unwelcome faces in her wedding party, including Kaley’s cheating ex-husband, Bryan, one of his former mistresses, and his new girlfriend! To make matters worse, Kaley’s current relationship with the resort's hot lifeguard is on the rocks, and her
brand new handbag goes missing after a wild night celebrating Emma’s bachelorette party.

But things go from bad to downright deadly when Bryan’s girlfriend is found the next day, dead and buried in a shallow grave on the resort beach—along with Kaley’s missing bag! The police seem convinced that Kaley is involved in the woman’s untimely death. In order to prove her innocence and save Emma’s wedding weekend, Kaley must do a little investigating of her own. Did her arrogant ex-husband kill his own girlfriend? Or did the jealous other woman commit the crime? The deeper Kaley digs in her pursuit of the truth, the more secrets and lies she uncovers. It soon becomes clear that someone doesn’t want Kaley to air their dirty laundry. If she isn’t careful, she may not live to see her friend walk down the aisle.

The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:
Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2)
Deadly Wipeout (book #3)
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4)
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5)
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6)
Ukulele Deadly (book #7)
Bikinis & Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Lethal Tide (book #10)
Beachboy Murder (book #11)
Handbags & Homicide (book #12)

About Aloha Lagoon:
There's trouble in paradise...
Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii's hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere...and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we're certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget!  (Summary via Goodreads)

I LOVE returning to the Aloha Lagoon Mystery series published by Gemma Halliday Publishing.  The books in this series are all written around the Aloha Lagoon Resort which is along the coast of Kauai in Hawaii.  These books all have 2 things in common : first they all center around the resort meaning that the main character works in or around the resort and secondly there is going to be a dead body, or two.

In Handbags & Homicide written by Anne Marie Stoddard, the twelveth book in the series, we are hanging around with Kaley Kalua.  Kaley left the island for a while when she was married to a famous football player but returned home after she caught him cheating.  Now she works at her aunt's boutique, reconnected with a childhood friend, Noa, who is now her boyfriend, has some great friends and gets to wake up in paradise everyday !!  She couldn't be happier.....until her best friend from her old life calls announcing that she is getting married to the football player Kaley and her ex set her up with and she wants Kaley to be her maid of honor and the bride and friends are coming to the island for the bachlorette party.  Kaley thinks it is going to be a weekend full of drunken fun until not only does Emma, the bride show up but the two cheerleaders Kaley caught with her husband as well as the groom and his groomsmen which includes Kaley's ex Bryan !!!

Kaley decides to take the high road with the help of her good friend on the island Jamie and goes forward with the bachorlette plans until one of the cheerleaders, Valentina, is missing and Kaley stumbles on her body on the beach......oh and did I mention that Valencia and Bryan are/were an item ???  

Not only does Kaley stumble over Valentina's body but its her new pocketbook around Valentina's neck.....Kaley steps into high gear to prove her innocence but while doing so, she throws her ex under the bus.....  Kaley takes it upon herself to try to figure out who killed Valentina but in doing so, the suspect list grows and pretty soon she is questioning everyone in the bridal party.....including the bride !!!

I love getting lost in this series....while you read these books you feel like you are right there with everyone enjoying paradise .... while safely sitting on your couch away from harm.  This is one series that I cannot turn the pages fast enough and even though I cannot wait to get to the end to find out what is going on, I am slightly disappointed when I do get to the end and realize that I am sitting on my couch far, far away from paradise !!!

Review by Missi M.

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