Natalie is a semi-retired freelance writer grieving the death of her young grandniece. The beautiful college student was killed in a fall from a four-story building. Was it an accident, suicide, murder? That’s what Natalie is determined to find out.
Set in the tropical paradise of Hawaii, this convivial mystery unfolds leisurely as Natalie sets out to determine exactly what happen, why, and whether or not foul play was involved. Hiding her connection to the deceased, she rents the actual apartment from which her grandniece fell so she can learn more about individuals who may or may not have been involved in the untimely death. These individuals include a Chinese landlady with a multifarious history, a handyman thought to be religious but also perhaps righteously indignant, a sullen hanger-on with questionable ties to the owners and the property, and a roommate mentioned but inexplicably unseen.
Natalie is a protagonist who will inevitably draw comparisons to Jessica Fletcher from Murder She Wrote, perhaps even to Agatha Christie’s Jane Marple. Similar to those intellectually endowed ladies, Natalie brings precise observation and keen insight to her task. However, she also employs an additional armament not shared by those feminine sleuths. Natalie has visions—visions that enable her to see, sense, and feel more than the average person. The trick is interpreting those visions correctly. In this debut whodunit, Burrows-Johnson displays a fine eye for detail, a sharp ear for dialogue, and a commendable commitment to tie up loose ends. Her descriptions of time, place, history, and more make up in substance what may be lacking in suspense. One suspects this is only the beginning of Natalie’s adventures.