"Death With an Ocean View" was an easy pick for a number of reasons. First was the author's name, Nora Charles, which immediately made me think of the series of mysteries starring the wonderful Nick and Nora Charles. Second it was a small book perfect for reading on the beach on Cape Cod.
But it was the story that grabbed my attention, starring a 60-something unlikely heroine and her equally 60-something friends and neighbors. I confess to being a fan of active and imaginative senior citizens some quite obnoxious and even criminal. For a setting of Florida, this was just a perfect book. The characters were almost stereotypically on target. The setting with the big-time developers tearing down historical homes and businesses for parking lots and huge condos and complete lack of interest in environmental concerns seemed to ring all too true. The locals fighting back and sometimes giving in led to all types of clues which turned out, in the end, to be false. Friendships come under scrutiny and some actually survive. An old yearbook, which is something most seniors treasure, helps solve the mystery.
Kate Kennedy, the protagonist in this tale, is portrayed so well that her emotions and reactions ring true in every scene. Her sister-in-law, Marlene, not so graciously portrayed, is also a person who seems quite real, if flawed for sure.
There are six books in this series known as the "Senior Sleuth Mystery Series" and I am going to search out some more as they are perfect summer reading and the mysteries are not easy to figure out. Nora Charles is a pseudonym for Nora Wald who has also scribed the "Ghostwriter Mysteries. Wald lives in Sarasota, Florida.