Much Ado about Nauticaling
by Gabby Allan
About Much Ado about Nauticaling
Whitney Dagner is your tour guide to a Pacific paradise that’s to die for—only to find it’s a place people are also willing to kill for—in Gabby Allan’s Much Ado About Nauticaling, first in the Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.
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.
About Gabby Allan
After writing plays for her friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and her high school Alma Mater song, GABBY ALLAN finally found her true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with her down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.
Much Ado about Nauticaling by Gabby Allan is a breezy cozy mystery set in Santa Catalina Island, California. Whitney Dagner has left the corporate world to return to her hometown to help her brother, Nick run the family business, Nautically Yours plus open her shop, Dame of the Sea. After a day filled with tours, Nick and Whitney are cleaning the boat when they see a body under the window in the bottom of boat. It is the Chamber of Commerce’s Person of the Year, Jules Tisdale who had been on the boat earlier in the evening. The police zero in on Nick as the guilty party. Whitney with help from ex-boyfriend, Felix Ramirez and her cuddly cat, Whiskers work to clear Nick’s name. Much Ado about Nauticaling is the debut of A Whit and Whiskers Mystery series. Whitney Dagner is a friendly main character who is loyal to her family and not afraid of hard work. I loved Whitney’s grandparents, Pops and Goldy. Pops is a darling while Goldy is over-the-top. She wears high heels (even with a bathing suit), loves to sunbathe, and leaves a trail of sand behind her wherever she goes. There are several secondary characters that include Felix and Whitney’s roommate, Maribel. I am sure we will learn more about these people in future books. The mystery is straightforward with several suspects and misdirection. The whodunit wrapped up quickly leaving a few loose ends. Whitney was lucky in the investigation because the people she needed to talk to seemed to cross her path at the right moment. Whitney needs to work on her investigation technique. To say she lacks subtlety is an understatement. A reader does need to suspend their disbelief at times while reading. Since the story is told in the first-person, we are subjected to Whitney’s ramblings thoughts. I did find it a bit much at times. I could see her thoughts spinning around like a kid on the teacup ride at Disney. Whiskers is a fun addition to the story, and he was helpful with the investigation. Much Ado about Nauticaling is a carefree cozy with a cuddly cat, a glass-bottom boat, treasure map trouble, a bothersome ex-beau, and straggling sand.
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