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Riptide

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As intricate as a fisherman’s net, Riptide fairly writhes with sinister delights—family secrets, family feuds, lost family fortunes, betrayals, puzzles, sunken treasure… and murder, of course. With a bit of illicit romance and treachery thrown in for seasoning. This rife atmosphere swirls around New York artist Isabel Anders, who’s summoned home to tiny St. Elmo, Florida t As intricate as a fisherman’s net, Riptide fairly writhes with sinister delights—family secrets, family feuds, lost family fortunes, betrayals, puzzles, sunken treasure… and murder, of course. With a bit of illicit romance and treachery thrown in for seasoning. This rife atmosphere swirls around New York artist Isabel Anders, who’s summoned home to tiny St. Elmo, Florida to deal with an emergency: the aunt who raised her has been brutally—and mysteriously—injured. Isabel arrives to find the family mansion in ruins, her aunt living in a trailer, and, dangerous as a cottonmouth, the lover she left at sixteen just where he used to be. Waiting for her. Except now he’s got a grudge against her, a secret of his own, and some unsavory companions. Just when Isabel’s aunt seems to be getting better (but before she’s able to talk again) she dies just as mysteriously as she was injured. Suspecting murder, Isabel quickly ties her aunt’s death to another. But to find the killer, she has to hack her way through a small-town jungle of intrigue and several generations of interrelated secrets, producing hours of pulse-pounding delight for the confirmed puzzle fan. WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Laura Lippman, Kate Atkinson, intelligent cozies like those by G.M. Malliett, Elizabeth Zelvin, and Gillian Roberts, British puzzlemeisters like the great Dorothy L. Sayers herself, all BBC mysteries, and of course, Michaela Thompson’s own Hurricane Season.


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As intricate as a fisherman’s net, Riptide fairly writhes with sinister delights—family secrets, family feuds, lost family fortunes, betrayals, puzzles, sunken treasure… and murder, of course. With a bit of illicit romance and treachery thrown in for seasoning. This rife atmosphere swirls around New York artist Isabel Anders, who’s summoned home to tiny St. Elmo, Florida t As intricate as a fisherman’s net, Riptide fairly writhes with sinister delights—family secrets, family feuds, lost family fortunes, betrayals, puzzles, sunken treasure… and murder, of course. With a bit of illicit romance and treachery thrown in for seasoning. This rife atmosphere swirls around New York artist Isabel Anders, who’s summoned home to tiny St. Elmo, Florida to deal with an emergency: the aunt who raised her has been brutally—and mysteriously—injured. Isabel arrives to find the family mansion in ruins, her aunt living in a trailer, and, dangerous as a cottonmouth, the lover she left at sixteen just where he used to be. Waiting for her. Except now he’s got a grudge against her, a secret of his own, and some unsavory companions. Just when Isabel’s aunt seems to be getting better (but before she’s able to talk again) she dies just as mysteriously as she was injured. Suspecting murder, Isabel quickly ties her aunt’s death to another. But to find the killer, she has to hack her way through a small-town jungle of intrigue and several generations of interrelated secrets, producing hours of pulse-pounding delight for the confirmed puzzle fan. WHO WILL LIKE IT: Fans of Laura Lippman, Kate Atkinson, intelligent cozies like those by G.M. Malliett, Elizabeth Zelvin, and Gillian Roberts, British puzzlemeisters like the great Dorothy L. Sayers herself, all BBC mysteries, and of course, Michaela Thompson’s own Hurricane Season.

30 review for Riptide

  1. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    Good story Well developed characters and story. Just enough mystery to keep the reader guessing. This was a free book for me and I had never read a book by this author, but it won't be my last. Can't wait to read the next book in this series. Good story Well developed characters and story. Just enough mystery to keep the reader guessing. This was a free book for me and I had never read a book by this author, but it won't be my last. Can't wait to read the next book in this series.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bebe (Sarah) Brechner

    Excellent Florida Mystery This story is very well written, with a great cast of normal, not eccentric or zany, characters set in a typical Florida Panhandle town. Solid plot with plenty of angles left to explore in follow up stories.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Cissa

    Several descriptions of this novel call it a "cozy". It is not. "Cozy" implies a certain light tone, and this novel is deeply solemn. While not quite grim, it is full of angst. It's a reasonably well-thought-out mystery that I found somewhat but not entirely predictable. Its weakest point, I think, is that none of the characters come across as likeable or even sympathetic, except maybe for Isabel's aunt's nurse, and one small child. Since we don't spend much time with either of them, that doesn't Several descriptions of this novel call it a "cozy". It is not. "Cozy" implies a certain light tone, and this novel is deeply solemn. While not quite grim, it is full of angst. It's a reasonably well-thought-out mystery that I found somewhat but not entirely predictable. Its weakest point, I think, is that none of the characters come across as likeable or even sympathetic, except maybe for Isabel's aunt's nurse, and one small child. Since we don't spend much time with either of them, that doesn't help much. I also did not care for the carefully anonymous chapters from the killer's point of view; I'm not even sure that they were necessary, and they did show the author explicitly withholding information. Mystery authors need to do that! but they should be more subtle about it, I think! By the way, the title has nothing whatsoever to do with the plot or characters. Why??? This could have been a really enjoyable read, but the deadpan tone and the flat characters prevented that, despite a good plot.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Gigi Ann

    First off let me say one thing,,,,,, I am glad I finally finished this book. It was an okay read, I guess. However, some areas of the story moved along very slowly. One of the reasons I found it slow going was because of some dry details that could have been edited out. (Well in my way of thinking anyway.) I prefer less descriptive details and more storyline. Sometimes to much detail causes me to become bored and sleepy. I actually read another book and then came back and finished this one. I fo First off let me say one thing,,,,,, I am glad I finally finished this book. It was an okay read, I guess. However, some areas of the story moved along very slowly. One of the reasons I found it slow going was because of some dry details that could have been edited out. (Well in my way of thinking anyway.) I prefer less descriptive details and more storyline. Sometimes to much detail causes me to become bored and sleepy. I actually read another book and then came back and finished this one. I found it on Bookbub Monday, so it was a freeby, so that was good. I've thought about this book and what I wanted to award it in stars. It was a bit out of my Comfort Reading Zone, even though it is a mystery, just a bit too much rough housing, to put it mildly, in the story for me. It is a part of my Kindle library, and I've decided to award it 3 "Riptide" stars.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Mary Schildman

    Captivated I start my day slowly. I need to take meds then read until it time to take more meds and then restart my day with breakfast. Well, today I missed breakfast, snack time, lunch and second snack time because I was reading this book. It's not the great American novel, but I really couldn't put it down. I worried about these characters, fell in love with "Kimmie". Could have done without "Little Sis", but she's part of the story. Looking forward to reading this series. Kudos to this author. Captivated I start my day slowly. I need to take meds then read until it time to take more meds and then restart my day with breakfast. Well, today I missed breakfast, snack time, lunch and second snack time because I was reading this book. It's not the great American novel, but I really couldn't put it down. I worried about these characters, fell in love with "Kimmie". Could have done without "Little Sis", but she's part of the story. Looking forward to reading this series. Kudos to this author.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Nicki Conroy

    Great novel with all kinds of twists and turns.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Roxane Lapa

    Genre: Mystery. Not quite your standard feel-good cozy mystery as there is little to no humour in this book and a fair bit of almost gratuitous adultery. It's not a hardboiled mystery either though as there is no graphic violence/sex. Series: I see the book is filed as 'Florida Panhandle Mystery, #2' which implies you need to read #1 first, but this appears to be a standalone novel. It would seem that the general location is the only thing that ties these books together. Basic Synopsis... Isabel's Genre: Mystery. Not quite your standard feel-good cozy mystery as there is little to no humour in this book and a fair bit of almost gratuitous adultery. It's not a hardboiled mystery either though as there is no graphic violence/sex. Series: I see the book is filed as 'Florida Panhandle Mystery, #2' which implies you need to read #1 first, but this appears to be a standalone novel. It would seem that the general location is the only thing that ties these books together. Basic Synopsis... Isabel's old aunt witnessed a murder on the beach and nearly became one herself (a murder not a beach). When Isabel arrives in Florida she finds a catatonic aunt, and angry highschool lover, and something suspicious going on at the old family mansion. Illegal ship wreck salvaging, a prison break, an old family legend, a snake in a bathtub. Is it all connected...or not? My thoughts... I found the casual adultery disturbing, literally none of the characters were likable, and the ending seemed rushed...however...the story itself was pretty decent, and will keep you guessing whodunit right till the end. Also the author is especially talented in describing a scene in a vivid, atmospheric way. It makes the book completely believable and sensuously transports the reader to the location. I appreciate that in a book.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Joyce

    Complex tale about going home Isabel left her home town in the Florida Panhandle when she was 16. She ended up doing well in New York when the economy turned and she ultimately not only lost her job but also her married gentleman friend. Shortly thereafter she is notified that her Aunt who had raised her was very ill. She had been found wandering on the beach following a serious injury and was hospitalized. For financial reasons Isabel decided to lease out her condo and return to Florida. Coming Complex tale about going home Isabel left her home town in the Florida Panhandle when she was 16. She ended up doing well in New York when the economy turned and she ultimately not only lost her job but also her married gentleman friend. Shortly thereafter she is notified that her Aunt who had raised her was very ill. She had been found wandering on the beach following a serious injury and was hospitalized. For financial reasons Isabel decided to lease out her condo and return to Florida. Coming home she learned her Aunt had not maintained the family home and that she was living in a trailer on the grounds. Much of the area brought back her childhood memories. She even reconnects with her high school boyfriend who, as a result, separates from his wife. He and his diving partner have located an unreported wreck and have been stripping it. Her aunt dies and Isabel is becoming convinced that she has been murdered. I won’t go any further into the plot because of spoilers but will say the plot has lots of twists and turns that are well written. Thanks to the author and publisher for an e-galley for an honest review.

  9. 4 out of 5

    JO GIBBS

    Riptide: A Florida Panhandle Mystery Isabel Anders is an artist in NY. She had been fired for two months when she received the letter from St Elmo, Florida stating her Aunt Merriam had been attacked and was incapacitated. She feels the need to return to Florida and check on her aunt. As she spends time with Merriam and the town, she starts discovering all is not as it should be. She believes her aunt was purposely attacked. The rest of the book is her exciting adventure of discovering murder and Riptide: A Florida Panhandle Mystery Isabel Anders is an artist in NY. She had been fired for two months when she received the letter from St Elmo, Florida stating her Aunt Merriam had been attacked and was incapacitated. She feels the need to return to Florida and check on her aunt. As she spends time with Merriam and the town, she starts discovering all is not as it should be. She believes her aunt was purposely attacked. The rest of the book is her exciting adventure of discovering murder and mayhem. Things get so dangerous she barely escaped with her life. A great read!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jay Williams

    Just the Right Level of Mystery and Violence A great story of tragedy, romance, and development of relationships. The characters are well-defined and somewhat likeable. The style of writing makes for easy and quick reading without making too many demands. More than one bad guys and more than one heroes make for lots of excitement. Several surprises along the way keep the reader interested and engrossed.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Lyn

    Strong sense of place A twisty mystery with the perfect mix of violence and quirky characters set in the Florida Panhandle . The many subtle details of temperature , humidity and even the gritty sand or sticky mud give a true sense of place to the setting in this novel. It is just the right length.

  12. 4 out of 5

    dollie ledford

    Wonderful reading I enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and just scary enough to keep reading. I love the Florida panhandle and have been visiting for 50 years, now own a piece of the Big Bend area. Love all books set in this area. I have read Hurricane Season and loved it also.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Leslie

    I read this because it was set in the Panhandle of Florida, where we plan on moving. It kept me interested to the end, but other than Kimmie Dee and Isabel, I didn’t care much for the other characters. I feel the essence of the Panhandle, as far as I know it, was missing for me. I am not interested in reading the rest of the series.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Paul Bell

    Exceeds expectations I've gotten a few of these dubious books that are low priced or free. This is the first one that has been properly edited and is well written. Good story, believable characters, I wish the author well. Not the kind of stuff i usually read but i will get another one of her books. There is some talent there that needs to be encouraged and nurtured. Exceeds expectations I've gotten a few of these dubious books that are low priced or free. This is the first one that has been properly edited and is well written. Good story, believable characters, I wish the author well. Not the kind of stuff i usually read but i will get another one of her books. There is some talent there that needs to be encouraged and nurtured.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Drasko

    This book feels like offspring of chick-lit and mystery. It is very well written an well edited too but I will never call it cozy mystery. It has an aura of sadness and personal tragedies for which characters are only partially responsible. Other reason for their misery is some heavy destiny which hangs over them like hot and humid Florida air.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Loretta Gabriel

    Very entertaining mystery The author has written a story of a young woman's adventures and ordeals when she decided to move back to her home town. Her adventures lead to her uncovering a plot to cheat and deceive others and to steal old treasure. Very entertaining mystery The author has written a story of a young woman's adventures and ordeals when she decided to move back to her home town. Her adventures lead to her uncovering a plot to cheat and deceive others and to steal old treasure.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Moore

    Pretty good treasure hunting story!! Thoroughly enjoyed this story. Characters were a bit shallow but the plot kept me interested. Recommend for reading on lazy afternoons at the beach.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Zebrongwing1yahoo.com

    Mesmerizing! Rarely do I encounter a story so captivating that it keeps me up late at night & has me anxiously looking forward to my next reading opportunity! This one kept me guessing, was never disappointing, & left me smiling in satisfaction at the end. I highly recommend it!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Donna Engler

    OK book The best part of the story, in my opinion, is Isabel's friendship with Kimmie Lou. The story line was a bit hard to follow. At least it's a fast read and I'm not sorry I read it, but I can't in good conscience give it more than three stars. OK book The best part of the story, in my opinion, is Isabel's friendship with Kimmie Lou. The story line was a bit hard to follow. At least it's a fast read and I'm not sorry I read it, but I can't in good conscience give it more than three stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Eileen Windsor

    Unending mystery. The story revolves around several people with a central figure, Isabel. There is regret over things in the past and uncertainties in the future. Not dull by any means.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Judy Meier

    Pretty boring Cannot find much to recommend about this book. I think it was the setting that I disliked the most. Characters did not have much to offer. Not exciting and could not wait for it to end.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lynn

    Riptide This was a quick read but I thoroughly enjoyed it! I do wish the ending was a little more involved; what happened to Kathy, how about Buddy, etc., but on the whole, this was a great story. I look forward to more!

  23. 4 out of 5

    Donna Kelley

    Riptide Enjoyed the story line. The main character Isabel led an interesting life and was able confront her past which made her the woman she became. Hope there is a continuation of this story. Would like to know what becomes of Harry.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liz Etnyre

    Common thread in the Florida Panhandle Mystery series is the location, not the individual people or the story line. Last one was set in the 1950's, this one seems to be more 1980's. Both have been really good reads. Solid 4 stars. Will keep an eye out book 3! Common thread in the Florida Panhandle Mystery series is the location, not the individual people or the story line. Last one was set in the 1950's, this one seems to be more 1980's. Both have been really good reads. Solid 4 stars. Will keep an eye out book 3!

  25. 4 out of 5

    john r shell

    Clean, interesting read. Really enjoyed the pace of your story. Twist and turns like a real rip tide. Look forward to your next book.

  26. 5 out of 5

    susan barron

    Fabulous writer How exciting it is to read a well written book. You attention to detail.is intricate but not boring or too extensive. Hated for it to end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Don Paske

    I don't understand all the superlative reviews. This book had a decent enough story, but had lots of grammatical errors and very slow. I don't understand all the superlative reviews. This book had a decent enough story, but had lots of grammatical errors and very slow.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mrs Mary Curd

    Certainly not what I expected at the end

  29. 5 out of 5

    PAM

    An entertaining, fun summer read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Diane Sievers

    Did not like this story! Not my style. The story did not capture my attention. Too wordy. I was not intrigued by the main charictors.

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