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#Review Death at High Tide by Hannah Dennison
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Death at High Tide: An Island Sisters Mystery
by Hannah Dennison
About Death at High Tide
1st in Series
Publisher: Minotaur Books (August 18, 2020)
Hardcover: 304 pages
Digital ASIN: B0818PVX81
Death at High Tide is the delightful first installment in the Island Sisters series by Hannah Dennison, featuring two sisters who inherit an old hotel in the remote Isles of Scilly off the coast of Cornwall and find it full of intrigue, danger, and romance.
When Evie Mead’s husband, Robert, suddenly drops dead of a heart attack, a mysterious note is found among his possessions. It indicates that Evie may own the rights to an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock, one of the Isles of Scilly.
Still grieving, Evie is inclined to leave the matter to the accountant to sort out. Her sister Margot, however, flown in from her glamorous career in LA, has other plans. Envisioning a luxurious weekend getaway, she goes right ahead and buys two tickets—one way—to Tregarrick.
Once at the hotel—used in its heyday to house detective novelists, and more fixer-upper than spa resort, after all—Evie and Margot attempt to get to the bottom of things. But the foul-tempered hotel owner claims he’s never met the late Robert, even after Evie finds framed photos of them—alongside Robert’s first wife—in his office. The rest of the island inhabitants, ranging from an ex-con receptionist to a vicar who communicates with cats, aren’t any easier to read.
But when a murder occurs at the hotel, and then another soon follows, frustration turns to desperation. There’s no getting off the island at high tide. And Evie and Margot, the only current visitors to Tregarrick, are suspects one and two. It falls to them to unravel secrets spanning generations—and several of their own—if they want to make it back alive.
I loved the setting of Tregarrick Rock a (fictional) Isle of Scilly, but I did struggle connecting with several of the characters – Margot, Evie’s sister was one of them.
Evie is grieving the death of her husband Robert, but I didn’t really feel her grief it felt a little flat despite what she is going through.
She discovers that her husband really didn’t leave all that much money and she faces losing the home, but a letter is discovered at her lawyers office that mentions should a debt not be repaid then she will be the owner of an old hotel on Tregarrick Rock. Though does the letter mean Evie or Richards first wife Joanne?
Margot I felt pressured Evie to go to Tregarrick Rock to check out the hotel and the area all on whim on the back of the letter, and when they arrive she concocts some story that they are film location scouts looking to use the island!
We are met some eclectic characters on the island, some likeable and some not so much and I loved the whole idea of the it being a locked island only accessible by a sea tractor at low tide.The murder doesn’t happen until about half way through and given that there is no way off the island or any medical or police force able to make it, Evie finds herself caught up murder, deception and a sister who seems to be keeping secrets from her. I had figured out the suspect but there were also a few things that I didn’t see coming.
Overall despite my misgivings about some characters I really enjoyed this book and I loved the wonderful setting – it reminded of a Agatha Christie novel (it might have been a Poirot one) and I am looking forward to seeing what is in store for Evie next.
About Hannah Dennison
Hannah Dennison was born and raised in Hampshire but spent more than two decades living in California. She has been an obituary reporter, antique dealer, private jet flight attendant and Hollywood story analyst. For many years Hannah taught mystery writing workshops at the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program in Los Angeles, California.
Hannah writes the Honeychurch Hall Mysteries and the Vicky Hill Mysteries both set in the wilds of the Devonshire countryside where she now lives with her two high-spirited Hungarian Vizslas.
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