Wednesday, June 21, 2023

A Doggone Waterfront Shame (Megan Henny Cozy Mysteries #2), by Rimmy London

Amazon Digital Services, April 2022

Megan Henny has left her home, her nursing career, and boyfriend, whom she has realized she doesn't want to marry, behind, and moved to a little coastal village to start her own shop.

It's not totally impulsive. She loved the many family summer vacations in Seacrest growing up, and she's had dreams for years of owning one of the little shops on the boardwalk. She's planned--but never acted. Then she nursed her best friend through her final battle with cancer, and extracted from her a promise to follow her dreams. Her boyfriend also proposes, and she realize she has been leaning more toward breaking up than marrying him. He's superficially sweet, but it's a cover for his controlling behavior. She sells her house, buys one in Seacrest, and also buys an empty shop.

Both house and shop are in rough shape when she arrives, but she sets to work immediately. In three weeks, she's ready to open her scooter rental shop. She's met a neighboring shop owner, Margaret Thornton of Marg's Books, and hired her fourteen-year-old grandson to help out in her shop. A prank between two cousins old enough to know better leads to her meeting Kenneth Bradburn, whose family owns the new luxury development he's overseeing, and his cousin, Estelle. He's a bit full of himself and thinks the boardwalk her shop is on should have been torn down, but he's friendly and  very handsome. She meets Santiago, a college student "taking a break," when he knocks on her door, as a volunteer for Park Rescue, to tell her the drenching rain is putting her and her property in immediate danger. She has to evacuate.

Santiago is pretty good-looking, too, and kind and friendly.

Other shop owners, a local fireman, a construction foreman unexpectedly willing to help do the vital work on her house, insisting insurance will cover most of it.

She also meets a big, clumsy, stray Great Dane, whom Santiago has informally dubbed Fred. Megan is afraid of dogs. Fred needs a friend, and keeps showing up when a big dog acting like he belongs around her is helpful. Gradually, they make friends.

The big storm and the resulting flood isn't the worst excitement in Seacrest, though. One of the workers on the development site is murdered, and people Megan has met, and likes, look like good suspects. Fred brings her a pearl necklace, and it doesn't belong to Margaret, who has some casual jewelry in her bookshop, or the owner of the jewelry shop, either. Some online searching shows it's probably a lot more valuable than she initially assumed, too.

The murder, the necklace, and Fred leading her to other buried treasure is getting Megan very, very nervous and worried. And despite herself, she can't stop investigating.

It's a fun book, largely due to Megan, Fred, and a lot of the people they meet being really likable, fun to get to know despite flood, murder, and some serious questions about what kind of town Seacrest really is.

I bought this book.

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