by Elaine Viets
Mass Market Paperback:
Publisher: Obsidian Mystery
Released: May 6, 2014
Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description, Modified from Back Cover:
Husband and wife PI team Helen Hawthorne and Phil Sagemont are about to find out murder is no day at the beach….
There’s a dark cloud over Sunny Jim’s Stand-Up Paddleboard Rental business on Florida’s Riggs Beach—especially after one of his clients is killed in a tragic paddleboarding mishap. Sunny Jim is sure it was no accident, and he hires Helen and Phil to find the murderer.
As the couple investigates, they discover dark undercurrents of corruption behind the cheerful facades of the beachfront businesses. But the sands of time are running out, and if they don’t catch the killer soon, Sunny Jim won’t be the only one to go under….
Board Stiff is a cozy mystery. This book was the twelfth in a series, but this story did not spoil the mysteries in the previous books. This series does have an ongoing mystery, though, that is solved in this book. All the needed background to that mystery was given in this story, so you don't need to read the previous books to understand what is going on.
I was initially very intrigued by the paddleboarding mystery as it could have been a complex and clever mystery. While they know who is likely whodunit for many of Sunny Jim's troubles, they don't know for sure who's paying whodunit or who the murderer is.
But about midway through, the ongoing blackmailing mystery sidetracked the main mystery until it was all about the conflict that this blackmailing created between Helen and Phil. They started acting like little children and messed up big time on their main investigation because they were so busy squabbling. My opinion of Phil went from "eh, okay guy" to "throw that catch back!" though I did see why his rejection was very upsetting for Helen. If you don't mind drama, you'll probably like the book more than I did.
There were no graphic sex scenes. There was a fair amount of explicit bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this mystery to fans of the series who don't mind drama.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt: Read an excerpt using Google Preview.