Death at High Tide – Hannah Dennison

Island Sisters Mystery, Book One

Four of five stars

Evie Mead is suddenly dealing with several revelations at the unexpected death of her husband.  That he died of a heart attack – a here-to-fore unknown condition – is merely the overture.  He died virtually penniless.  She will most likely lose her home.  It seems, however, that she does have ownership of an old hotel on some remote island off the coast of Cornwall.

Thanks to the intervention of her sister, Evie finds herself making the somewhat dubious trek to Tregarrick Rock, to find out more about what her sister Margot thinks is an exclusive spa resort.

What the sisters find instead is a far cry from Margot’s vision.  An owner that insists he’d repaid the loan that would have lost him the hotel.  A village that claims they know nothing.  And more questions than they could possibly find answers for.  But answer them they must as the discovered of two murders in succession has the fingers of suspicion pointing directly at Margot and Evie.

Dennison’s talent at weaving mystery into the storyline is clear from the start.  There are many secrets on Tregarrick for the sisters to uncover, even though most of the island’s inhabitants would do everything in their power to keep them hidden. 

Death at High Tide is the perfect story to begin a new cozy series.  While Evie isn’t entirely likeable – her way of acquiescing to those around her quite grated on me right from the start – she is still an engaging type, and her story impels the reader to persevere.  I found her sister to be almost a caricature – which isn’t all bad – but I also knew early on that all was not as it seemed.  As we meet others of the residents of Tregarrick, we become further invested, questioning each character’s involvement as Dennison pulls you along to the conclusion.  Unexpected, yet at the same time there is a feeling of “of course!” as she lays out the trajectory of the narrative.  It’s a totally fitting ending however, and I look forward to the next entry in this series.

[I received an Advanced Reader Copy of this book from NetGalley and the author, though I was not required to write a review.  The opinions expressed herein are entirely my own.]

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