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Reviewed by Julie Hodgson for Readers' Favorite
Shave Ice Paradise by Mark Daniel Seiler is a mystery set in the beautiful paradise location of Hawaii. The scenery is succinctly depicted and takes you down a path colliding with a mystery - the suspicious death of the elderly Auntie Nalani, who was found at the bottom of a cave, wearing a kimono all wet and wrongly tied. The only time she wore her Crane kimono was when she performed the Tea Ceremony at the little Murakami Teahouse, so something was afoot. Even her trusty grey faded bag that she always carried with her was missing - she never went anywhere without it. Gina, determined to get to the bottom of what had happened, does things that will change her life forever; her chance meeting with Curly sees to that. Along with Moreno, Gutierrez, and DS Alvaro, they set out to investigate what happened to Auntie Nalani. Is it an accident or murder? There are a lot of clues throughout the story so watch out for them. Be a sleuth, and you will find them.
Mark Daniel Seiler's Shave Ice Paradise was an enjoyable read, and I particularly enjoyed the scene at the Japanese tea house; the tea ceremony reminded me of my trip to China last year. The story is peppered with exotic sayings and words and, being a British reader, this was a real treat. Spectacular, descriptive images of local life, people, their politics, tourism and a unique way of dealing with life. The characters are fun and real and you won't forget them after you have finished the book. I loved the quotes at the top of each new chapter, making it so different when compared to other books. This is a fast-paced, whodunit mystery, an imaginative and intriguing story.