Review: Maui Magic by Terry Ambrose

Maui Magic by Terry Ambrose
Series: Trouble in Paradise (# 8)
Release Date: March 30, 2017
Publisher: Self Published
Pages: 385
Source: Book provided by author for review



Whatever happened to easy? McKenna had the perfect cover for his plan to propose marriage. He and his girlfriend Benni would help his elderly tenant, Mrs. Nakamura, fly to Maui for a visit with her pregnant granddaughter. Then, he’d take Benni for a walk on the beach. He had a ring, but did he have the courage to pop the question?

The minute they land, McKenna’s perfect plan hits a snag. Mrs. Nakamura’s grandson-in-law is being accused of murder—and she wants her amateur sleuth landlord to investigate. Reluctantly, McKenna agrees to take the case with his friend Chance. They dive into an investigation that starts in a seedy hospitality club and goes straight downhill. Before they know it, the battle for Maui’s water is raging around the amateur sleuths and they have too many questions to answer.

Why was the murder victim living under a fake identity? Why is their client claiming he committed the crime? And, who is the mystery man stalking them?

On a dusty cane road, McKenna must answer the toughest decision of his life—live rich or die poor? There’s no way it’s the question he wanted to face, but if McKenna doesn’t think fast, he may never ask another.


Review: I always look forward to the new McKenna books. Even though I live on Oahu, Ambrose has a way of bringing the area to life and I always find someplace new I want to see – whether it’s a street in Chinatown or a whole other island. This book takes place on (surprise!) Maui, where McKenna takes his long-distance girlfriend for a romantic getaway. Instead, he finds himself involved in murder, a water-rights fight, and a fight for survival.

I loved the character of Mrs. Nakamura. I believe she’s been a walk-through character in one or two previous books but this is the first time we get to see the former school teacher in action. She’s feisty and noble and scary and heartwarming all at once. I’d love to know someone like her in real life and look forward to seeing her in future books. Lexie, Chance’s girlfriend, also gets a larger role in this novel. While she had come across as very down to earth previously, here her character really shines through.

For me, it’s interesting to find local controversies woven into fictional stories. Water rights on Maui have been an on-going issue for years and the spin that’s given to such a heated argument has the power to evoke strong feelings as well as create further interest in what’s going on in my “backyard”.