Some secrets are too dangerous to reveal…
McKenna and his friends are taking a sunset cruise off the coast of Honolulu when they discover a stowaway. The stowaway turns out to be ten-year-old Kai Palakiko, one of O‘ahu’s best young surfers.
Kai insists she needs to hire a private investigator so she can prove her nanny isn’t a murderer. McKenna reminds everyone he’s only an amateur sleuth, not a PI. Kai’s determination and charm endear her to his friends on the cruise and, despite his better judgment, McKenna agrees to help.
Almost immediately, McKenna realizes Kai will be the worst possible client. She’s precocious, strong-willed, and has a nasty habit of interfering in the investigation. He also discovers the woman he’s trying to help appears to be lying about her involvement in the murder. The worst part is she’s somehow involved in a government cover-up involving the US Army and secrets nobody wants unearthed.
Review: I always enjoy the McKenna mysteries and this one was no exception. The addition of a ten-year-old surfing champion with an iron will made a wonderful counterbalance to the steadfast and reliable McKenna.
Kai was the perfect antithesis to McKenna. McKenna is smart enough not to fall for everything she tries yet at the same time Kai is able to wrap him around her little finger. Kai is smart and brave (for a ten-year-old) – she knows right from wrong and she stands up for what she believes in even at her young age.
It was harder to gauge the nanny, Juliana. She swayed back and forth between innocence and guilt, which was fine with me as it kept me on my “mystery solving” toes. She seemed to be hiding something and I quickly pegged her as guilty, even if not of the murder.
As back characters, the nannies at the Tiki Trades bar were a hoot. I would love to see them make a guest appearance in a future book. Each was different from the others and each brought her own unique character to the bar table.
If you’re looking for a good summer beach mystery, this one is it. You’ll get a few chuckles and perhaps a guffaw or two, plus a sharp mystery. You won’t be lost if you haven’t read the series from the beginning – each book is able to stand on it’s own though there is mention of previous cases and characters.