Monday, September 5, 2016

The St. Lucia Island Club - A John LeBrun Detective Mystery - Written by Brent Monahan - 3 Stars

I believe I received this book from Turner publishing in exchange for an honest review.  It may have come from a Good Reads contest also.  Never the less I did indeed read the book cover to cover even though when first scanning the back description I thought this is definitely not my kind of book.  Even though it was number 5, I believe of the detective John LeBrun novels it is great as a stand alone you don't have to be familiar with his previous books  read this one.  He came to the island with his wife, as a belated honeymoon trip.  He belongs to a gentleman's club some of who come from this island and wanted he and his new wife to go home singing the praises of the island as a great place to go for rest an relaxation in among it's plantations and many banana trees, and beautiful beaches.  They get to the island only for Mr. LeBrun to be pressed into working with his detective skills as someone has broken into a plantation home and killed all of the people there in their beds while they slept and tried to cover their tracks with a fire.  I believe  this is the first time Mr. LeBrun has used his wife in solving a crime.  They run around the island willy nilly talking to everyone staying just ahead of the person who did the crime.....and Mrs. LeBrun is very helpful in solving the crime.
The crime is pretty easy to solve it's wrapped up in extensive history of the St. Lucia Island if you enjoy that type of thing than this book is for you.  There is also a lot of the authors ideas of how things on the island are not the way they should be in regard to the black people brought to work on the island, or those who became lighter shades of black as they were sleeping with the land owners and their children grew not to belong to any real group.  I guess the book could have been written without all if that but the author had their own ideas.  I did enjoy reading the book for the most part, and would recommend to anyone who lives detective novels with a lot of history thrown in!  Not my usual read, but easily finished.  I gave it three stars, I liked it.

Descriptions as found on Good Reads: When retired Southern sheriff-turned-New York City detective John Le Brun and his wife, Lordis, set sail in 1910 for a long-awaited honeymoon on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, they expect to find relaxation in paradise. However, they soon discover they ve been lured to the island in part to tout its attributes as a burgeoning vacation retreat to wealthy investors back home. Instead of finding tranquility among the tropical isle s quaint villages and sandy beaches, they encounter a land teeming with racial, social, and economic tension. The brutal murders of a local plantation owner s family find John putting his renowned detective skills to use, with Lordis readily playing assistant.

Once again, the shrewd detective must capitalize on his outsider status to stay several steps ahead of the locals, many of whom seem to harbor dark motives. Is the culprit one of the white landowners the exclusive St. Lucia Island Club counts among its membership; the descendants of former African slaves said to inhabit the island s inland jungles; or someone else entirely? As the body count rises, John and Lordis race to uncover St. Lucia s deepest mysteries, including secret identities, long-held rivalries, and who stands to profit most from the island s future. The St. Lucia Island Club paints a vivid portrait of the Caribbean island s scenic beauty and complicated history at the turn of the twentieth century."