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The Goat Woman of Largo Bay: A Novel (Shad #1)

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3.23  ·  Rating Details  ·  100 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews

The Goat Woman of Largo Baybegins the detectiveseries featuring Shad, a bartender in a fishing village in Jamaica, who is the community problem solver and right hand ofEric, an American who owns the bar and a hotel left in ruins by a hurricane.

When Shad sees movement on the island offshore,he thinks it’s just a goat. But it turns out to be Simone, an American who has run

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Paperback, 320 pages
Published September 27th 2011 by Atria Books
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 221)
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Glenda Christianson
Dec 27, 2011 Glenda Christianson rated it really liked it
The Goat Woman of Largo Bay wants to be the first book in a mystery series when it grows up. I'm not sure it's quite there yet. There really isn't a lot of mystery in this book. The mystery plot is quite predictable and was really not much of a mystery. Although the "goat woman" didn't turn out to be what I had initially envisioned when I read the title of this novel.

That said, there is much to like about this novel. The setting of Jamaica is unusual in a main stream novel. It also happens to be
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Alexis Walker
Oct 05, 2012 Alexis Walker rated it it was amazing
This was a great Caribbean book. It gives the reader a good sense of what modern life on Jamaica is like while enjoying an amateur detective in the character of native bartender, Shad. Added to that is the poignant emotional journey of Simone, long ago native changed by growing up in the states and by the tragedy that sends her back to Jamaica. An intriguing cast of characters fills out the village of Largo while various island values are explored from both the native and ex-patriot sides. The w ...more
Vickie
Aug 07, 2013 Vickie rated it it was amazing
I was intrigued by the title and had to read this debut book.
A little meandering and the mystery isn't about a murder like usual. This one is more along the lines of politics and missing people in a wee Jamaican town.
I loved Shad, the bartender, who is the amateur sleuth and assistant to the bar owner, Eric. Eric is a bit forlorn as he lost his retirement plan island hotel to a storm. Then built his new bar almost directly across from it on the shore. He can gaze at the ruins and mourn his los
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Kristi
Nov 21, 2011 Kristi rated it it was amazing
In the middle of an early start to our winter, The Goat Woman of Largo Bay brought me right to the tropics and the warmth. I felt like a visitor at the bar, who returned each day to sit on a stool, sip on a coconutty rum drink and absorb this story as it unfolded. The unique language, the colorful island characters, the descriptions of their culture, and their relationships all captured me. The story itself was of an American who after suffering an unbearable loss, makes an pit stop at this Jama ...more
Rosey D
Aug 06, 2012 Rosey D rated it it was amazing
This was an amazing book that left me with a deeper understanding of live, love and relationships. It was a page turner story of a woman who chosen to live alone on an island of Largo Bay. This book had a lot of twist, turns and enlightenment - something I appreciate while reading any novel. Pearl Cleage is one of my favorite authors and her protege' Gillian Royes is just as awesome. Must read!
Michelle
Jun 15, 2016 Michelle rated it really liked it
This was a good book which does not have graphic violence, sex or strong language. I liked the fact that it shows what the Jamaicans think of the expatriates and how the foreigners adapt to living in a different country. While I was reading the book it reminded me a little of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander McCall Smith with Shade taking on the role of Precious Ramotswe. It had the same slow revealing of life in the community as well as the mystery which has to be solved b ...more
Mom2nine
Jun 10, 2016 Mom2nine rated it really liked it
This was a 4-5 star book, for me. Royes writes with a sure hand, which belies the fact that it is her first novel. Jamaica is an unusual setting for a book and I loved the island feel. I thought she did a good job with the give and take that is island life. Classifying it as a mystery seems a bit of a stretch. Shad is trying to avoid past connections and stabilize his commitments. Eric is trying to find a way to continue his life in Jamaica, after losing his hotel to the hurricane. There is a bi ...more
Kathryn
Aug 12, 2015 Kathryn rated it really liked it
Shelves: mysteries, novels
I am not sure I would classify this novel as a mystery. There is a small investigation that takes place, but the center of the story is a mysterious woman who takes up residence on an island near the village of Largo, Jamaica. Her appearance upsets and then intrigues the island's owner, an American expatriate.The cast of characters also includes a local bartender, the woman's concerned brother, an Obeah man (with a degree in psychology), and some shady thugs in cahoots with a factory owner. I re ...more
J Susanne
Apr 09, 2014 J Susanne rated it it was amazing
Our book club chose to read this book out of sequence ... bumping the scheduled book!

It happened because the author was coming to Chicago and we were able to invite her to our Brunch Book Club! She graciously accepted the invitation and we were so thrilled to enjoy her Jamaican lilt as we learned her journey to becoming a published author! Our small group had researched recipes and sources of authentic Jamaican foods with some additional,suggestions from Gillian, herself. It was a treasured day
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Betsy
Dec 10, 2011 Betsy rated it it was ok
I really wish I could mark this as 2 1/2 stars as it was better than a 2. It was a fun read but not a great read.
I'm not sure why this is called a mystery. While I really liked the character Shad, I really did not see his role as that of detective. He is definitely a problem solver, and the go to man in his community. He is a loyal friend, employee and a loving husband and father. However, I'm still trying to figure out what the big mystery was. The mystery may have been what it was about Simo
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TC
Sep 10, 2011 TC rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime
This, the author's first novel, introduces the reader to a new detective. Shad is a barman come amateur sleuth trying to keep his community safe. Set in Jamaica, Shad works for American bar owner Eric. The story begins when they spot something on an island owned by Eric. First mistaken for a goat they soon realise a woman has moved in. Simone is a woman looking for solitude after personal tragedy, but she gets in the way of a pair of bumbling gangster wannabes. This puts Shad on the trail of cor ...more
Michael
Eric is the owner of a bar and hotel in Key Largo Bay, in Jamaica. His hotel was damaged in a hurricane and is now separated from the mainland by water.

Shad is Eric's bartender and right-hand-man. He sees what he thinks is a goat on Eric's island. Eric rows out and sees that it is a woman, Simone, who needs peach and quiet. She offers to pay Eric if she can stay there and if he'll arrange for groceries to be delivered.

Shad is the person that people confide in. The people in the village make Simo
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Tony
Nov 29, 2011 Tony rated it liked it
Shelves: novels
I picked this up partly because I'm always on the lookout for mysteries set in other cultures, but also because I just finished Ian Thomson's dense nonfiction book about Jamaica, The Dead Yard. It seems pretty clear that the author was heavily inspired by Alexander McCall Smith's gentle No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series in crafting this first of a projected 10-book series. Like McCall Smith's series, this debut features a developing world landscape quite alien to most potential readers, and a ...more
Suzy
Jan 28, 2016 Suzy rated it it was amazing
Delightful. Loved the character Chad. Reading about rampant government corruption makes one appreciate our own government, however imperfect. Last paragraph in Chap 25: "And she'd know there'd be no meditation today. There'd be only the chatter of the memories and a nausea of the heart."
JoJo
May 04, 2012 JoJo rated it really liked it


This was a refreshing book. I think it has however suffered from misleading advertisement. It has been described as the first in a detective series, and though there is certainly a bit of mystery in it, it does not follow the age old standard for detective fiction, and may come as a let down for readers expecting such. It does however have its merits as a new voice. I would suggest you go into this book not expecting the traditional detective genre, and rather take it for what it is, an insight
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cati
Aug 24, 2015 cati rated it liked it
Found this at Savers too. Not a "world class detective story" as told on the cover. But, a different soul touching book with some humor thrown in.
Lucy
Jan 13, 2013 Lucy rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, library-book
Not really much mystery, just an interesting and very different society which has problems that have to be solved. Bartender Shad Myers is a bit of a problem-solver. Two problems in the book are: who is the woman on the island (why is she there and is she crazy), and what's going on with the upcoming election.
I like the main characters. Their problems are real-life ones. One interesting aspect of this book is the Jamaican patois that many of the characters speak. It gives the book a specific cha
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Deon Stonehouse
Shad is the fix it man of his little community on Largo Bay. Shad works as a bartender in Eric’s bar, but he keeps close watch on the happenings around him. Eric, an American, left the bitter cold of winters in the north for the warm breezes and deep blue waters of Jamaica, living out his dream in the sunshine. Or at least until a Hurricane flattens his hotel and turns his peninsula into an island. The arrival of a strange woman on Eric’s now uninhabited island turns everything upside down. Shad ...more
Pat
Mar 22, 2013 Pat rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
I liked this quirky book which takes place in Jamaica. It is one of those books where the characters and settings are more interesting than any crime or mystery that happens. A 'goat' is spotted on the small island that once was a penisula to the mainland. The goat turns out to be a woman who wants to have some time to reflect on her life. Of course, that sets the local population into a spin to find out more about this strange woman. It also sets up the series for the reader to learn more about ...more
Susan Gaska
Oct 18, 2015 Susan Gaska rated it it was ok
Two and a Half stars
Teresa
Aug 27, 2014 Teresa rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery-thriller
This story is set in a area in Jamaica that is little known to us tourist types. It's not the Kingston of the travel posters. It is, though, filled with some interesting characters. I enjoyed the way the story progressed and the start of the tale of the woman who was mistaken for a goat when seen on an island across the bay from a local bar. Picked up the book for the title, but will return for the author.
Zetta
Sep 27, 2011 Zetta rated it really liked it
New mystery series. Royes shows Jamaica and its people (warts and all) in this first book introducing bartender and amateur detective Shad Myers. Anyone who has been to Jamaica (especially Ocho Rios) will be taken there again reading this book. I'll be following Shad, Eric, and the other residents of Largo Bay in the future.
Vilo
Jan 29, 2012 Vilo rated it liked it
An interesting novel that explores culture and the how the decisions we make can impact our happiness, and how we can help each other learn. The descriptions of the island are so rich it's like a free Caribbean vacation while improving your mind! There were 2 scenes a little too explicit for my taste.
Elizabeth
Nov 06, 2011 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: jamaica
While I was mislead bythe cover to believe that this was a detective novel it was still enjoyable. The story is about a woman finding herself, a bit of political intrigue in a poverty stricken, hurricane ravaged area and about second chances for all the characters of the book in one way or another.
Elisabeth
May 14, 2016 Elisabeth rated it really liked it
I wanted to finish; sometimes I couldn't keep up with the writer. It was an interesting book, my book club had lots of discussion.
Laurie
Jun 08, 2013 Laurie rated it it was amazing
I wouldn't call this a mystery series.But i loved it anyway.The author really brought these characters and the location alive.I finished this book in one day because I could not put it down!
Wendy E.
Jul 30, 2012 Wendy E. rated it liked it
Not really a mystery as billed, but the story set in Jamaica was interesting enough. I would probably pick up a second "mystery" featuring Shad, the bartender and general problem solver.
Jen
May 19, 2012 Jen rated it it was amazing
A woman living on her own on an island in a town where this seems insane. She fights her demons while the local bartender and bar owner fight to protect her.
Sundra
May 24, 2013 Sundra rated it it was ok
Reminds of the Ladies #1 Detective Agency...maybe it will be like that one and I will like it better as the series progresses. This one was just ok.
Lisa
Nov 19, 2013 Lisa rated it liked it
An enjoyable read, somewhat in the tradition of the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency. Any mystery here is secondary to the characters and their lives.
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Gillian Royes was born in Kingston, Jamaica. She attended Colorado College and later went on to the University of Wisconsin and Emory University, where she earned a doctorate in American Studies. Royes is the author of The Goat Woman of Largo Bay, Business Is Good, and Sexcess: The New Gender Rules at Work. She lives in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
More about Gillian Royes...

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