Series: Teddy Creque #1
Published by Minotaur Books on September 13, 2016
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As a Special Constable, Teddy Creque is the only police presence on the remote, sun-drenched island of Anegada, nestled in the heart of the British Virgin Islands. In all his years on the job, Teddy has never considered the possibility that he might have to address an actual crime on his peaceful island. That is, until he receives a hysterical call about a dead man on the beach. Indeed, Teddy is shocked to discover Paul Kelliher, a biologist who traveled to the island every summer for research, lying dead on the sands of the island’s most remote beach, killed by a single shot to the head. And when the BVI’s “real police” task Teddy with informing Kelliher’s nearest kin of his death, Teddy makes an even more surprising discovery: there’s no record that Paul Kelliher ever existed. Suddenly Teddy’s routine life is thrown into tumult as he tries to track a killer—against his boss’s wishes—while balancing his complicated family life, three other jobs, and the colorful characters populating the island around him.
Written with a wry, witty narrative voice and a plot full of twists and turns, John Keyse-Walker’s Minotaur Books/Mystery Writers of America First Crime Novel Award-winning debut is a pure delight.
Sun, Sand, Murder is set on Anegada, the northernmost of the British Virgin Islands. Unlike the rest of the BVI, it’s low and flat, formed by coral and limestone. Teddy Creque is the Special Constable on the quiet island. He’s also the customs officer, works the night shift at the power plant, and takes tourists on fishing outings occasionally. Honestly, the “law enforcement” part of his day is probably the easiest, right up until a dead body is found on the beach at Spanish Camp.
I have never been to the Virgin Islands or any tropical island, but Sun, Sand, Murder did a good job of making me feel like I was there with its descriptions of the sandy beaches, the feel of the sun, the smell of the breeze. Like at any tourist destination, there is a solid difference between tourists and locals, and those who are in between, like the dead man.
Teddy is not a great detective yet – this is his first case and he gets little support from his superior. He is tenacious and determined and the island is his home. He is far from perfect, but he is somehow charming. We’ve got several other colorful characters who each have their bit to play in the story.
The mystery had a really nice twist. Just when you think Teddy’s got it figured out, it turns out he’s wrong. I’m looking forward to reading the next in the series.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges:
It’s good to find someone else who enjoyed this book. I’ve read all the books in the series and hope that Keyse-Walker writes more.
I’ll definitely be reading the next in the series soon. I wish they were available as audiobooks.