Review of Going Coastal by Jane DiLucchio
Going Coastal (Book 1 in the Kate Matthews Mystery series) is the reissue of Jane DiLucchio’s 2016 published book, now with the author’s new publisher Flashpoint Publications. It’s my first book by Jane DiLucchio. If you want a cozy and enjoyable mystery, then you will like this book.
Kate Matthews was an attorney until a near-fatal heart attack left her with health complications. After this life-threatening experience, her family, wife Alicia, and children Ben and Sarah convinced her to cut back, so now she works as a licensed massage therapist in the Santa Barbara area on the California coast. She is happy with her new life until Celia Tucker, a member of the California Coastal Commission, is virtually poisoned on her massage table and dies. Kate is the prime suspect, but it’s not so easy to pin the murder on her. As a former lawyer, she can’t just leave it up to the police, so she undertakes her own investigation which stirs up more dust than she’d like. As she uncovers various dubious business deals and wheeling and dealing with her curiosity and persistence, she annoys more than one person and she puts herself in danger of ending up as a victim. As if being suspected of being a murderer wasn’t enough…
I love mystery novels, even more so when they don’t follow the usual concept of police officers or private detectives solving the mysteries. Kate has a razor-sharp mind and would give many PI’s a run for their money. The author managed to spin an exciting tale that kept me guessing all the time as to who the murderer or murderess was. The political and business entanglements are complex, Kate manages to shed light on them with her tenacity. Environmental activism, money laundering, bribery, gangs, corruption, and last but not least murder make the story very interesting and it takes a mind like Kate’s to uncover all the intricacies. However, all these entanglements were sometimes a bit confusing.
Besides all this detective work, there’s also the wedding of her daughter to organize, which is going anything but smoothly and doesn’t help to calm things down either. The women deal with the problems to the best of their ability and try to solve them. In doing so, they show that they are not perfect but that makes them all the more likable and sympathetic. This also applies to Sarah and Ben, who both play an important role, especially Ben. Kate and Alicia, who works as a real estate agent, are both very strong and protective independent women, whom I liked from the beginning. They have a loving and caring long-term relationship, one that everyone desires. I am fortunate to say that I have a similar relationship with my wife for twenty years.
Some stories are best told from a single perspective and this is one of them. Told from Kate’s point of view, we experience her thought processes directly as if we were one with her. I’m looking forward to a second installment with Kate and her family.
My rating 4 stars
ARC provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.