Astoria, Oregon, is no longer the quaint, peaceful town it was when Kasmira “Kaz” Jorgensen left years ago. It’s changed, and not necessarily for the better, thanks to newcomers and tourism.
Ken Lundquist, the Jorgensens’ crewman, is found burned when one of their boats, the Anna Marie, explodes in flames while Kaz was trying to find her twin brother Gary, who’d gotten into a ruckus twice that night at the Redemption Tavern.
Something is happening in Astoria, and it appears Gary is the chief suspect in their crewman’s murder. Kaz is determined to find her brother, who’s disappeared, before anyone else does – not her friend Lucy McGuire, an Astoria Police Department detective; not Astoria’s police chief Jim Sykes; and not the new fire chief, Michael Chapman, a former arson investigator with a past.
The intrigue grows as Kaz narrowly escapes encounters with a mysterious stalker, causing her to wonder if there are other forces at work here.
Is Gary really in on everything, and if not, then why is he hiding? And how come Kaz finds lots of frozen fish with money stuffed in their bellies at their storage locker? Something sinister is going on here, and she aims to find out what it is, reluctantly accepting Michael’s help.
Michael, you see, has taken to Kaz. Not only does she know it, she’s beginning to crave his attention. Will their “obsession” with each other hinder the investigation? Or will it help? Only time will tell, but they’re running out of time. Gary seems to be on the verge of elimination by someone.
A Killing Tide is good mystery work. It was nominated for a RITA award presented by the Romance Writers of America. The award is named for Rita Clay Estrada, RWA’s first president. It may be classified as a romance, but the romance takes a back seat to the mystery.
Love Spell (Paperback, $15.00 list)