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Death in Paradise
By Carolyn Hart

Avon Books 1998 pbk. (1999 Avon Twilight Books)

Reviewed by Shirley Wetzel

Henrietta Collins, Henrie O. to her friends, receives a mysterious package as the anniversary of her husband’s death nears. The anonymous writer suggests that his death was no accident, and that the truth lies with an old friend of Richard’s, the famous journalist Belle Ericcson. There are indications that his death is linked with the unsolved kidnapping and murder of Belle’s daughter CeeCee six years before. Belle, Henri suspects, was much more than a casual friend to Richard, but painful as it is she must finally meet this woman to unravel the truth about Richard’s death at Belle’s remote home in paradise.

Each year since CeeCee’s death Belle has gathered all of her children and step-children at her home, Ahiahi, high in the mountains on the Hawaiian island of Kauai, to remember and celebrate CeeCee’s life. Henrie fakes an invitation to get into the compound, where Belle gives her a warm welcome. It becomes apparent that the murderer of both CeeCee and Richard is one of the people there, possibly even a member of the family. Most of the group have secrets, some benign and some deadly.

As Henri draws close to the truth, she almost becomes another victim and is suspected by the police of being responsible for another murder that takes place soon after her arrival. Henrie learns things about her beloved Richard’s past, and his ties to Belle, and learns about herself as well.

Rich character development and the excellent description of the lush Hawaiian scenery almost made me feel as if I were there.

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