Aloha, Lady Blue

Charley Memminger. Minotaur, $24.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-00778-0
Deft storytelling, intrigue galore, and island splendor distinguish humor columnist Memminger’s strong first novel. Former investigative journalist Stryker McBride maintains a somewhat secluded lifestyle aboard his luxurious houseboat, the Travis McGee, docked at the Bayview Yacht Club on Oahu’s windward shore. One phone call from his high school crush, Amber Kalanianaole Kam, whom he hasn’t seen in 20 years, changes everything. Amber wants Stryker to do a little digging into the suspicious death of her grandfather, Chinese businessman Wai Lo Fat. Stryker doubts the sincerity of Amber’s request, but looks into the case anyway, at what turns out to be great personal peril as secrets of the past combined with the local mafia lead Stryker into Hawaii’s dangerous criminal underground. Hilarious side characters (like Stryker’s lawyer, Sue Darling) and side stories (like the tale of Franky Five Fins) lend ballast. Readers will want to see a lot more of this engaging hero in the John D. MacDonald tradition. Agent: Richard Pine, Inkwell Management. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/19/2012
Release date: 01/22/2013
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