Sue McGinty’s second Bella Kowalski mystery returns readers to California’s Central Coast for another dose of murder and mayhem, where sins of the past don’t stay buried and creatures more deadly than sharks lurk in the water.
“Murder in Los Lobos” introduced McGinty’s spunky protagonist, an ex-nun (married to an ex-cop) and obit writer for the local newspaper. Bella’s talent for ferreting out clues and criminals is matched only by her fierce loyalty to friends and family and her courage in the face of danger.
When Loreli Sereno was found dead in her kayak, the police angered the wealthy Sereno family by declaring it a drug-related accident. Five years later, Magda Sereno receives an anonymous call from someone who claims he can prove Loreli’s death was murder. He says he will reveal the name of the killer…for a price.
Magda thinks she recognizes the caller’s voice and goes to Bella for advice. But before she can talk to Bella’s husband, her battered body turns up on Cuyamaca Beach.
Working with her husband, who’s just been offered a contract job working on cold cases for the Sheriff’s Department, Bella is soon connecting the dots between the Sereno sisters’ deaths, their terminally ill brother who’s now sole owner of the prestigious Sereno Winery, and Marcus Daniels, Loreli’s handsome ex-fiancé.
Murder At Cuyamaca Beach takes readers on a heart stopping roller coaster ride of danger and deception as Bella risks her life to discover the truth. McGinty holds her cards close, casting suspicion on one suspect after another until the reader’s only hope is for Bella to survive and expose the killer and his evil schemes.
Highly readable with a complex, tension-filled plot that keeps the reader hooked and speeding through the pages. And while McGinty wastes no words, her characters are well-drawn and believable; her descriptions and prose a pleasure to peruse.
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