On a Desert Shore


Product Details

Poisoned Pen Press
Publish Date
5.8 X 1.0 X 8.7 inches | 0.9 pounds

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About the Author

S. K. Rizzolo was born in Aspen, Colorado, but raised in Saudi Arabia and Libya where her father was employed in the oil industry. Returning to the United States for high school and college, Suzanne earned an M.A. in English. Currently a high school teacher, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. The Rose in the Wheel, a mystery set in Regency England, was her first novel. http: //www.skrizzolo.com/


John Chase is a Bow Street runner who's been asked to determine who is tormenting a wealthy young woman in Regency London. Marina Garrod, the daughter of wealthy merchant John Garrod and a slave on his Jamaica plantation, was groomed to fit into London society and to make a good match, but she failed miserably, she is no spineless miss and is rejected by the ton. Living in the Garrod household, she appears to be the target of a malicious prankster. Chase, however is not sure if she might be doing this all to herself, either in a bid for attention or perhaps out of sheer madness. If it's not Marina, there are plenty of other suspects; plenty of people want to have a say in how Hugo Garrod's wealth is distributed. Chase must determine the truth before someone gets hurt or killed. This is a lush, regency historical that sweeps from Jamaica to London, from plantations to drawing rooms. Tremendous fun--NetGalley
Bow Street runner John Chase is hired to protect a young heiress from Jamaica, and Mrs. Penelope Wolfe is engaged to live in the woman's household as an added layer of protection. Together, they must work to uncover a ruthless and diabolical killer. An engrossing fourth historical adventure (after Die I Will Not).--Library Journal
A Bow Street Runner helps solve a murder at a manor in this Regency tale. John Chase's 20-year career in the Royal Navy ended at the Battle of the Nile when he took a bullet to the knee. Now that he works for Bow Street, he's hired for the personal protection of sugar planter Hugo Garrod. After making a fortune in Jamaica, Garrod brought his mixed-race daughter, Marina, to a lavish estate in Clapham with the idea of marrying her to his possible heir, his wastrel nephew Ned Honeycutt. Instead he gave Marina a London debut that disappointingly ended without a proposal, and now Honeycutt may be a marital candidate after all. Someone's trying to frighten Marina with chicken bones and grave dirt, tokens she knew about from her mother, one of Garrod's former slaves and a practitioner of a native religion. But Marina's mother, with whom Chase has his own connection, is far away. When he comes to Garrod's manor, he sees that Marina is very vulnerable, given to sleepwalking, frequently dosed with laudanum, and surrounded by her father's unwelcoming family. Chase, who feels like an outsider himself, is glad to have his friends as fellow houseguests: melancholic barrister Edward Buckle, resourceful pamphleteer Mrs. Penelope Wolf, and her illegitimate half brother, who's instantly smitten with Marina. At a lavish reception, the host serves tea that makes him, Honeycutt's sister, and the estate's vicar violently ill. Garrod begs Buckler to rewrite his will but dies before the barrister can help, leaving Chase, Buckler, and Penelope with a temporarily missing key, an unlabeled bottle, and West Indian seed-pod beads as the only evidence of who stood the benefit the most from Garrod's death. This fourth outing for Chase (Die I Will Not, 2014, etc.) blends thwarted love, class and racial issues, partly convincing historical details, and solid sleuthing.--Kirkus
Fans of traditional whodunits with a closed circle of suspects will enjoy Rizzolo's fourth historical featuring savvy Bow Street Runner John Chase (after 2014's Die I Will Not). When Chase was defending the British Empire in the West Indies in 1796, he almost lost his life to yellow fever. A local healer, Joanna, restored him to health. In London 17 years later, he has occasion to help Joanna's daughter, Marina, whose merchant father, Hugo Garrod, made his fortune in the Caribbean, but he has raised her in England. Garrod is afraid that someone is playing cruel tricks on Marina, leading her to fear she's cursed, and he hires Chase to get to keep an eye on her. The case ends up being one of murder after several people are poisoned. Chase is aided in his search for the truth by two other well-limned characters, barrister Edward Buckler and writer Penelope Wolfe. Rizzolo nicely evokes the period, but the book works better as a classic murder puzzle than as a probing look at Regency England. (Mar.)--PW