I'm excited to tell you about Murders of Conveyance, the latest addition to the Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian mystery series! Like Prospect for Murder and Murder on Mokulua Drive, this book is a cozy mystery with pan-Pacific history, multiculturalism, and a hint of the paranormal set in the lush environs of Hawai`i. It contains several elements of classic literature:
~ Prologue and Epilogue
~ Casts of characters
~ Chapter quotes
~ Folio art [a hibiscus flower] around page numbers
~ Notes and Acknowledgements
~ Brief Overview of the Hawaiian language
~ Glossary of non-English and specialized terms [historically annotated]
The First Annual Aloha Scavenger Hunt is beginning. Journalist Natalie Seachrist, private investigator Keoni Hewitt, and friends Margie and Dan O`Hara are joining in the fun. Thanks to neighbors they christened The Ladies, Natalie is not worried about their tortoise shell feline companion Miss Una, who has a way of discovering her own ad- ventures. Before departing for their Honolulu hotel, Natalie dreams of a film noire whodunit. Immersed in the action, she exits a vintage elevator, finds a man’s body lying in a hotel hall, and watches an elegant woman savagely search an adjacent room.
After a murder occurs outside their suite, Natalie advises HPD Lieutenant John Dias that the victim’s taped outline and hat leaning against the wall eerily parallel her “dream.” She then identifies the man’s photo as Chinese professor Fù Hán Zhāng. Knowing the reliability of her prescient gift, the detective asks Natalie and Keoni to watch for clues to either death while the scavenger hunt visits O`ahu locales like the Pali Lookout and an ancient heiau.
After a full-color vision, Natalie is convinced that the site of her earlier “dream” is in Chinatown, her victim is Chinese, and the perpetrator is a tall woman in a red suit. When a false scavenger hunt clue alludes to a priceless Kuan Yin figurine in rare white jade, Natalie turns to her friend Pearl Wong for help. After a Chinese New Year’s feast, the investigators tour the historic Shēn building which once held a boutique hotel where a family member disappeared in the 1950s. Is this the man Natalie envisioned dead in a narrow hotel hallway? Is his death linked to that of the professor? What of the hint of the hidden Kuan Yin? Coincidences? Or, has Natalie’s visioning revealed a murderer with long hidden secrets?
Murders of Conveyance, the third Natalie Seachrist Hawaiian Mystery
After an absence of twenty years, I visited my hometown of Portland, Oregon. It was amazing to explore the many things that had changed...and those that remained the same! The City of Roses is noted for Douglas fir trees and I can report that those planted in my youth are now huge!
My plans began when I learned that there would be a fiftieth reunion of my 1968 graduating class of Woodrow Wilson High School. Once that event was in place, I worked to schedule a couple of speaking engagements. It was especially wonderful to have the assistance of my friend and editor extraordinaire, Viki Gillespie.
As may be expected, I did not recognize anyone at the reunion, but I was delighted to share stories and Hawaiian chocolate covered macadamia nut candy at the gathering. The following week, I had the opportunity to share an overview of my work as an author and give an assignment to a couple of classes of creative writing students at Wilson High. Sadly the door to the stage I had loved so much was locked, but I was delighted to see that a small performance stage had been erected in the drama room.
Each day of the week I was there, I tried to see a few friends. Most gratifying was the long overdue meeting with Viki. For several years she has been smoothing out innumerable aspects of my protagonist's adventures in murder and mayhem! It was so wonderful to have her join me in addressing both a joint meeting of American Association of University Women book clubs, as well as one of my talks with the high school students!
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