Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands #1)
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Adrift on St. John (Mystery in the Islands #1)

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3.07 of 5 stars 3.07  ·  rating details  ·  81 ratings  ·  31 reviews
No one knows better than resort manager Pen Hoffstra that the idea of a tropical paradise is an illusion. So when a young woman named Hannah Sheridan disappears off the island of St. John, she is not surprised that all is not what it seems to be.

Pointing out Hannah's resemblance to the Amina Slave Princess from the 1733 slave revolt on St. John--whose ghost is rumored to...more
ebook, 320 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Berkley Books
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Jeannie and Louis Rigod
First of all just to get it out ...I loved this book. If you read this book expecting a series like Ms. Hale's other popular one...it is Not! This book, in my opinion, is as fine a piece of literature of the Mystery/Suspense/Thriller genres that I've read in quite a while.

I never put together the orchestrator of the mysteries until the very ending when the Author revealed it to me. This was a mystery novel. Not a cozy murder, or a murder mystery at all, this book was far more complex and layered...more
Debbie
Four years ago Penelope Hoffstra got an offer she couldn’t refuse, a struggling borderline unethical lawyer she finds herself in the Miami airport when a strange man approaches her and offers her a new life. She never looked back. She found herself the manager of a prime resort on the Virgin Island of St. John, her ineptness however has followed her to her new career as well as she skims life on her island. But there’s change coming and it isn’t good as the natives get restless nearing the anniv...more
Darlene Ferland
Congratulations Ms. Hale! This book is filled with the idiosyncracies of the people living in St. John/St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands as well as living on these islands. Life can be hard living there but the perks are well worth it. This book was centered on the smallest and most expensive of the three islands. Rebecca Hale's misterious story allows the reader to be able to use all five senses while becoming an intricate part of the story. Her words become alive and feeds the sen...more
Tina
Deep in the waters of the Caribbean on the tiny island of St. John, Hannah Sheridan runs to get on the water taxi because she's running late. The taxi springs a leak while crossing the channel to St. Thomas, the island where Hannah works. About halfway through the journey, Hannah, a recent employee at the resort, vanishes without a trace at sea, which fuels a local legend.


Penelope Hoffstra, or Pen as the islanders called her, is Hannah’s employer. Now, she's caught up in the intrigue about how H...more
Vicky
Well this just shut the door on another author: Rebecca Hale. I read her first "Cat" novel and liked it but couldn't get through the next installment. I had hoped this new series would be different. I managed to get to the halfway point before I stopped putting the book down and strived to finish it. That was difficult as the writing was so jumbled that it drew me out of whatever the story was supposed to be. This book is awful and I won't recommend it to anyone, nor will I buy another by this a...more
Victoria Wright
Mar 19, 2012 Victoria Wright is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
I'm only a few chapters in and I'm enjoying it. I'm not sure what to make of the main character yet. Every time I want to like her, I'm presented with another character flaw that makes me hesitate to root for her.

I'm familiar with this author's writing, and I really like her series. More later . . .
Diana Bringardner
Loved it! Something different and incredibly well done. First in a series but I don't know if the continuation is about the Island or the main character and love that I don't know!
Jack
I don't usually give a bad review to a book I've read. I usually have good thigs to say, otherwise, I can't read enough of the book to review it.

I decided to plunder through this one, though. I am a fan of Rebecca Hale's "Cats and Curios" mysteries...well, the first two, at least. I had noticed that the most recent "Cats and Curios" mystery, "How to Tail a Cat," was not up to par...hard-to-follow plot, confusing characters, chaotic plot structure, etc. I thought I would give this new series of h...more
Cathy Cole
First Line: Deep within the murky, unlit darkness of the Caribbean waters skirting the northern tip of the Lesser Antilles, the stocky shadow of a catamaran powerboat rocked against a wooden pier off the tiny island of St. John.

For the past four years Penelope Hoffstra has been a resort manager on the island of St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Penelope knows firsthand that there's no such thing as a tropical paradise, so when one of the resort's employees is reported to be killed when a wate...more
Amanda
This was my first experience with the author, Rebecca Hale. As I began reading the book, I became confused as to whether I was reading a story or a history book. I was never able to connect with the main character- as the story bounced between the history of the island, the main character and the secondary characters. The main character is a lazy alcoholic who would rather turn to a bottle than anything else. I normally will finish a book in one sitting once it "grabs" me, however as I attempted...more
Nancy
Hale manages to bring to life the complexity of the island's history, and what it is to live on the island, as opposed to being a guest at one of the resorts. The plot is made up of many strands, all woven together into a whole at the end. While this keeps the reader moving right along, it does add layers of complexity.This is not surprising given that the author was a patent attorney, and is thus attuned to skillfully handling complex and muti-layered situations.
It's an intriguing book, thoug...more
Karen
I can see there is a wide response to this book. I received a copy from the author at a panel raffle during Left Coast Crime. I really wanted to like this book. I was not comfortable with the format of placing an ending scene in the beginning of the novel and flashing back to tell the tale. There was quite a bit of repetition about the historical aspects of St John, especially in the beginning. Most annoying for me was the bouncing back and forth between different points of view and different ce...more
Kaye
Penelope Hoffstra, the manager of an island resort, knows what the tropical paradise is not as much as what it is. Pen, as she is known by, has been there four years and lets her assistant Vivian do most of the "heavy lifting" in running the resort. Pen seems to have an abundance of secrets and rather questionable work habits. When Hannah Sheridan appears to work at the resort, Pen finds her a mystery. With Beulah, the maid, Conrad, the annual visitor, Roger, the rooster, and other colorful char...more
Martie Nees Record
I am surprised that others have read this book. For me it was my vacation book at, where else but St. John. I thought the writing as well as the plot was mediocre at best. But, it was so much fun being on my dream vacation while reading about the very beaches I was sunbathing on.
Jess
I could only get about 3/4th's of the way through this book. I felt like it had a lot of potential, however it just let me down. I'm not particularly crazy on books that I read the ending before the beginning either, so that's one of the other reasons this book and I got off on the wrong foot. I also wasn't too fond of the characters. I had a really hard time connecting with the main character , she seemed a bit lazy and too sardonic for my liking. I'd like to say that I will go back and reread...more
Les Reynolds
Enjoyable read. A bit confusing, lots of characters to keep track of, and 2 timelines that get muddled. Great insight into the history of St John.
Kathleen
While I enjoy getting lost within the pages of a cozy mystery, with this book I was simply lost. I can deal with the ending being the beginning of the book. I can deal with bouncing back and forth between past and present. I can even deal with the many threads it takes to weave the tapestry of a story. However, with this book I kept wondering when it would get to point. For me this seemed less of a mystery and more a novel. It was a story about a number of different people and how their lives an...more
Barb Keister
Happened upon this mystery series as I was browsing the shelves and since we're getting ready to go to St. John in a couple days, thought it would be a good read. Hope it doesn't disappoint!

So I read this one on the beaches of St. John and it was a fun read, especially all the specific references about spots around the island.
Not the type of mystery I was expecting, but an interesting read that will get you wanting to know more about USVI and its history.
Ruth Turner
It was ok. Not my usuall type of mystery.
Wendy
I REALLY wanted to enjoy this book. I made it part of the US Challenge. I found 2 mysteries based in American Virgin Islands, this one and its sequel.
This book aptly fulfills the requirements of an excellent description of life, culture, landscape, people, and history. However, I was bored with the storyline and disliked the main character. The storyline also was a bit choppy and confusing. Furthermore, it really wasn't a positive perspective of the islanders.
Lindig
It's too bad. This author has an interesting germ of a plot (as she did in her cat mysteries) but the main character is an idiot (as it was in her cat series), the complications piled on become hopelessly chaotic, the secondary characters are "quirky" to the extreme, and the prose style is rather pedestrian. This is the 4th book by this author that I've tried and the highest rating I've given is three stars, so I think she and I just don't mix.
B
St. John! One of my favorite places and coincidently it dealt with the closing of Maho Bay Eco resort..the place we love to go to and that will be closing really in May because the land is being sold. The mystery was okay but I loved how well the author knew the island and all its idiosyncracies. And the picture on the cover? Yup, that's what it looks like.
Suzanne
Jun 22, 2012 Suzanne rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Suzanne by: SYKM Newsletter
Shelves: mysteries
I think I got the mystery, but I'm still scratching my head a bit............. I did love all the history of the USVI, especially St. John. Some of the characters were quirky and fun. Some I didn't much care about. Excellent job of capturing the local flavor of the islands and the resident islanders.
Alyssa


This cozy mystery was okay. The characters were interesting but there were some definitive plot holes and I don't think the whole thing wrapped up very well at the end. The actual mystery was overly complicated. Had it not been set on an island, it would have been far less interesting to me.
Nancy H
What an intriguing mystery! It is set in an exotic locale with an interesting cast of characters. You will find yourself entranced and unable to stop turning the pages as you try to find out what happens in the end.
Alice
I would not consider this a modern day cozy. More like cozies from Yesteryear. Some very dark chapters. Very interesting of the of St John's. Mystery and characters were okay.

Becky
a bit too much history lessons, otherwise I liked it. If all her books are like this one I don't think I would keep reading them.
Nora-adrienne
I am so sorry I left this book for so long unread. An amazing story and I look forward to the next in this series.
LORI CASWELL
Rebecca is Guest Posting on my blog March 8. Full Review will be posted then.
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1399279
NY Times bestselling author Rebecca M. Hale worked as a patent attorney in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost ten years before taking time off to write her first novel, HOW TO WASH A CAT. She primarily writes fiction -- in the form of quirky mysteries that reflect her travel experiences and many of the people she meets along the way.

She now lives in Western Colorado with her feline writing asso...more
More about Rebecca M. Hale...
How to Wash a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #1) Nine Lives Last Forever (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #2) How to Moon a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #3) How to Tail a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery Series, #4) How to Paint a Cat (The Cats and Curios Mystery, #5)

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