cover image Ballast Point Breakdown

Ballast Point Breakdown

Corey Lynn Fayman. Konstellation, $14.95 trade paper (352p) ISBN 978-0-9991989-8-8

At the start of Fayman’s enjoyable fourth mystery featuring San Diego, Calif., PI Rolly Waters (after 2016’s Desert City Diva), a speedboat skids across the beach and crashes through the picture window of the Admiral’s Club ballroom, where a party is going on. A young woman emerges from the boat, pours gasoline over herself, and cries “Save the dolphins!” before firing a flare gun at her head. The dead woman is later identified as Janis Withers, cofounder of the Lemurian Temple with Melody Flowers, who’s a priestess in the esoteric faith practiced at the temple. Melody wants Rolly to find out what happened to Butch Fleetwood, a Navy man assigned to work with dolphins, who disappeared more than 20 years earlier. Janis, who once ran the fan club for guitar-playing Rolly’s old band, gave Butch’s dog tags to Melody and asked her to get Rolly’s help if anything ever happened to her. The FBI views Janis’s self-immolation as a possible ecoterrorist act, but Rolly’s investigation into Butch’s disappearance uncovers some dark secrets connected to Janis’s death. Fayman maintains a nice light touch throughout. Carl Hiaasen fans will be pleased. (Self-published)