Gail Baugniet's Reviews > Almost Paradise

Almost Paradise by Laurie Hanan
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Sep 07, 2012

it was amazing
Read from December 08 to 20, 2011

Local flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin Posted on Amazon: December 21, 2011
By Gail M Baugniet, Author of For Every Action

Recently, I purchased a trade book copy of author Laurie Hanan's mystery novel from her display table at a craft fair. This is the first in her Louise Golden series. With my obsession for e-books, print copies usually end up on a shelf unread. But, a mystery, set in Hawaii, on the island of O'ahu? I couldn't wait to start reading ALMOST PARADISE.

Postal mail carrier Louise Golden lives on the island of O'ahu and enjoys a friendly camaraderie with the people on her mail route. When she notices elderly Mrs. Santos missing from her home one day, Louise becomes concerned and talks to neighbors in an attempt of learn what happened to her. Off the job, while visiting a movie set on the North Shore, Louise inadvertently overhears a man bragging about a murder, and finds herself spiraling through a labyrinth of dangerous encounters as he begins to stalk her. Is the man just a loudmouth or a dangerous killer? How is the disappearance of Mrs. Santos related to the stalker? These are only two of the many questions that kept me reading right up to the inspired conclusion.

Though I've lived on O'ahu for years, Hanan's novel offered a new perspective on several Hawai'ian landmarks. Her descriptions are authentic and she keeps the reader involved in the story by illustrating the essence of a scene with minimal explanation. Louise Golden and the novel's other major characters come fully realized, bearing ethnic names and unique personality traits that can be found in most local neighborhoods.

Laced throughout the novel is a humor that is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich's early books in the Stephanie Plum series. Some of the scenes in Almost Paradise were written so true to Hawai'ian character that, often, the subtle humor of a situation almost escaped me.

The story's plot action intertwines with local flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin language. There are even a couple of bonuses: a quick language lesson at the beginning of the book and a glossary at the end, which includes definitions for a mix of Hawai'ian, Yiddish, and Japanese words.
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Gail Baugniet Recently, I purchased a trade book copy of author Laurie Hanan’s mystery novel from her display table at a craft fair. This is the first in her Louise Golden series. With my obsession for e-books, print copies usually end up on a shelf unread. But, a mystery, set in Hawaii, on the island of O’ahu? I couldn’t wait to start reading Almost Paradise.

Postal mail carrier Louise Golden lives on the island of O’ahu and enjoys a friendly camaraderie with the people on her mail route. When she notices elderly Mrs. Santos missing from her home one day, Louise becomes concerned and talks to neighbors in an attempt of learn what happened to her. Off the job, while visiting a movie set on the North Shore, Louise inadvertently overhears a man bragging about a murder, and finds herself spiraling through a labyrinth of dangerous encounters as he begins to stalk her. Is the man just a loudmouth or a dangerous killer? How is the disappearance of Mrs. Santos related to the stalker? These are only two of the many questions that kept me reading right up to the inspired conclusion.

Though I’ve lived on O’ahu for years, Hanan’s novel offered a new perspective on several Hawai’ian landmarks. Her descriptions are authentic and she keeps the reader involved in the story by illustrating the essence of a scene with minimal explanation. Louise Golden and the novel’s other major characters come fully realized, bearing ethnic names and unique personality traits that can be found in most local neighborhoods.

Laced throughout the novel is a humor that is reminiscent of Janet Evanovich’s early books in the Stephanie Plum series. Some of the scenes in Almost Paradise were written so true to Hawai’ian character that, often, the subtle humor of a situation almost escaped me.

The story’s plot action intertwines with local flavor, tradition, and a bit of the pidgin language. There are even a couple of bonuses: a quick language lesson at the beginning of the book and a glossary at the end, which includes definitions for a mix of Hawai’ian, Yiddish, and Japanese words.


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