Stay tuned below for a review and excerpt of Sweet Paradise!
Author: Gene Desrochers
Series: Boise Montague #2
Publisher: Acorn Publishing LLC
Released: April 6th, 2021
Received: Blog Tour
Gene Desrochers’ Boise Montague series continues in Sweet Paradise. Don’t worry; if you’re like me and you haven’t read the first novel (Dark Paradise), you can easily jump in at this point and have no trouble following along.
Boise Montague runs a private detective agency in the Caribbean. It’s a bit of a change from his old life, but he’s settling in well. Well, mostly. He’s still sort of lacking one important part of his business, and you can probably guess what that is.
So when the opportunity strikes for Montague to investigate a case, he doesn’t hesitate. Now he’s knee-deep in a murder mystery, and things are getting more complicated (and dangerous) by the minute.
I think the thing I loved the most about Sweet Paradise is that while it is absolutely a cozy mystery – it’s a cozy mystery with a darker side. It added a lot of tension to the narrative, but not so much where I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of a thriller novel.
In other words, it was a nice balance that I really enjoyed. Boise Montague is an interesting character, and even without knowing all of his backstory (as mentioned above), I didn’t have much trouble figuring out his motivation.
Or how much trouble he got into here, courtesy of Francine Bacon, his rich new client. Honestly, while the mystery itself was really fun (and a bit intense!), what I really fell in love with was the way Desrochers set the scene.
The way Desrochers described Montague’s setting stole the show if you ask me. All of the descriptions and secondary characters brought this part of the Caribbean to life to me and made it so easy to picture all of the shenanigans that were happening.
Now I’m left hoping to find out what sort of adventure Montague will get into next because we all know he’s not going to learn his lesson here.
Thanks to Acorn Publishing for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.
The first coat was drying. More droplets of sweat rivered between my shoulder blades as I slugged water and Guinness alternately. Two in the afternoon was no time to be painting in the October heat, but I didn’t know what else to do and sitting around worrying about my looming penury seemed pointless.
The used old-timey clock radio I’d picked up at Bob’s Store babbled on about hurricane warnings as reception fizzled in and out. It was the latter part of hurricane season and we’d seen minimal storm damage in the region. We might dodge hurricanes for one or two years running, but it was never long enough to truly get complacent about them the way places like New Orleans had.
The overhead fan whirred. Outside my door sunlight filtered thinly through a cloud, illuminating the traffic circle a faint ocher. As I considered the faded lines denoting parking spaces and the cracked pavement, a young man bobbed into my line of sight. He was one of those people who walked on his toes at all times, like the tendons in his calves were so tight his heels couldn’t touch the ground for more than an instant before popping up again. He squinted at the building, turning his head back and forth, then perusing a sheet of paper clutched in both hands. A green Osprey backpack hung loosely off his shoulders. People in California used them for hiking. He tugged at the built-in sippy straw and sucked. The bubbly slurping of the last drops of water in his pouch filtered up to me. Disappointment clouded his face.
His attention snagged on my door. I grinned and gave myself a mental pat on the back. He shifted one hand to his hip and gave a slight lean. I wasn’t sure whether I should let him see me in my ratty painting outfit, but figured that could be explained by the wet door. A spooge of cantaloupe paint dominated the center of my gray t-shirt. I eased the door open a couple more feet.
“Help you?” I asked. “You look lost.”
“Nice door.” He pointed at his forehead and swirled his finger around. “You got some.”
He was college-aged and his face was sunburned, as were his arms. He wore a Hawaiian shirt and khaki pants, a classic tourist outfit.
He continued to stand in the same spot, squinting and considering the sheet of paper. I returned to my inner office, needing another sip of water and the breeze from the fan. Out my open doorway, I could barely make out the top of his Caesar-style haircut.
“You should get a hat!” I hollered out.
His head rose up from the paper and he pushed up on tip-toes so I could see his eyes. “The sun’s doing a number on you,” I said. “Want a drink of water?”
He stared at me a while with a strange stillness, like he was in no hurry as he weighed every option. This boy was a local and he would pull me into events that would rock one of the largest industries in the Virgin Islands.
“Do you have Perrier?”