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Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite
Red, White, and Boom by Tonya Penrose is the second book in the Shell Isle Mystery series. Page's inklings are at it again just in time to disrupt the 4th of July celebration. Page and her cousin Betsy act as sleuths once again after Page knows murder is afoot. Sure enough, the cousins find the body of one Captain Jake. Suspects abound and the cousins are thrown into the world of charters and a connection to a proposal for a limit fish catch ruling. Despite words of warning from Detective Tanner, the two dive into the case, only to uncover more than they intended in a thrilling mystery.
The mystery is set against the backdrop of the 4th of July which twists a fun-filled celebration into a harrowing murder investigation that delivers the right amount of chaos and murder. The plot takes a swift turn into choppy waters with the discovery of Captain Jake's body which sends the two cousins directly into the world of charters and fishermen. They find themselves in the middle of a disagreement over a limit fish catch ruling that could have led to the captain's death. Tonya Penrose has created two characters that build on each other in a way that provides humorous dialogue and a charming atmosphere. Their friendship is infectious and makes you have fun solving the mystery with them as they take you along for every twist and turn. The humor is driven by the characters with moments such as the cousins standing over a body and acting nonchalant about it. The story is rooted within the strong bonds of community with the cousins and their friends being strong supporters of businesses like Bailey's Barbecue and Honey Bees. Red, White, and Boom has a fishy mystery, cousin sleuths, humor, and charm that create another delightful win for Penrose.