Beachboy Murders By Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens: Review/Giveaway/Guest Post

Jun 16, 2018 | 2018 Articles, Food Fun, Kathleen Costa, Mysteryrat's Maze

by Kathleen Costa
& Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

This week we have a review of the perfect book for beach reading, Beachboy Murders by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens. Sally and Jean also share some memories from Hawaii and a recipe for a Mai Tai. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win either print or kindle copies of Beachboy Murders and the first book in the series, Murder on the Aloha Express, and a links to purchase them from Amazon.

Beachboy Murders: Gemma Halliday Publishing Aloha Lagoon Mystery By Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens
Review by Kathleen Costa

Book Your Hawaiian Vacation with Smith & Steffens!

Several popular Gemma Halliday Publishing authors have gathered together to write books in a series with the same tropical setting…Aloha Lagoon Resort nestled on the coast of Kauai. Thirteen books so far from eight authors are entertaining cozy fans with a café waitress by Catherine Bruns, photographer by Dana McCaslin, surfing instructor by Beth Prentice, ukulele virtuoso by Leslie Langtry, hotel manager by Aimee Gilchrist, boutique manager by Anne Marie Stoddard, a left-at-the-altar bride by Mary Jo Burke, and travel agency owner by Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens, my favorite writing team. Smith & Steffens joined the group in August 2016 with their first book, “Murder on the Aloha Express,” introducing Gabrielle “Gabby” LeClair who left Chicago and an ex-husband behind to open up Gabby’s Island Adventures. Her ‘up and coming’ business is in the resort where she is enjoying the tropics, making new friends, enjoying a maybe-romance with a hunky helicopter pilot, and finding murder has booked an adventure!

There’s trouble in paradise! Visit

Beachboy Murders earns 5/5 Tropical Troubles…Terrific!

Gabby LeClair is excited to have Janet Belinski, her mentor/friend from Chicago, coming to the resort, and with her she brings an interesting bunch of tourists and some potential buyers of Gabby’s travel agency. Selling? No, not after she’s made a home for herself with friends and a hunky helicopter pilot, but it doesn’t hurt to listen, right? Also arriving at the resort is Val Markson, a hired “plus one” with a dubious reputation. Not a stranger to the Islands, he had lived, worked, loved, and left a few broken hearts in his wake. So, when he is found dead in Gabby’s backyard, whispers turn to accusations, secrets are revealed, motives abound, and suspects are too close to home. Gabby puts on her amateur detective hat to find jealousies, greed, and a bit of personal peril. Another day in paradise!mystery book cover

Excellent! The wait is over! It’s been two years since we first enjoyed Gabby and the Murder on the Aloha Express, which made me an immediate fan of Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens’ work, and this new adventure was well worth the wait. I was thrilled to have the signature clever twist and turns, dead ends and misdirection that made me think I had it figured out, but was hit with a couple of “Oh, Wow-s!” to make it very exciting. Background and character connections are revisited, so no one is left confused, but don’t forget to read the first book…it is a great companion story! The mystery was well organized, realistically unfolding clues, and leading to another exciting island chase with bumps, bruises, and a scare or two concerning who will survive. Gabby is a delightful character easily identified with as she finds comfort in her ‘island girl’ personae embracing the ‘aloha’ way to leave her past hurts behind and embrace her ‘helicopter hunk.’ The other characters are fun, quirky, and all the epitome of family. On the side, I continued to enjoy reminiscing about my own visits to the “Garden Isle” and efforts to be an ‘island girl.” And to make everyone feel the “aloha,” they have added a bit on the “Hawaiian Language—a crash course on how to put together all those syllables.” Mahalo, Sally and Jean!

mystery book coverBe a Big Smith & Steffens Fan…Like, Visit, and Follow!
This entertaining writing team, part of my Top Ten all-time favorite, also pens the three-book Mystic Isle Mystery series (book four Mystic Deception out in the Fall), and along with joining several Gemma Halliday Publishing authors to pen the two books in this Aloha Lagoon Mystery series, they have penned two books in the Danger Cove Mystery series with their Danger Cove Pet Sitting mysteries. And every one is clever, entertaining, and loaded with few giggles!

Facebook Smith and Steffens, Authors
Facebook Sally J. Smith USA Today Bestselling Author
Facebook Jean Steffens USA Today Bestselling Author
On the Web Smith and Steffens, Authors
Gemma Halliday Publishing

Kathleen Costa is a long-time resident of the Central Valley, and although born in Idaho, she considers herself a “California Girl.” Graduating from CSU-Sacramento, she is a 35+ year veteran teacher having taught in grades 1-8 in schools from Sacramento to Los Angeles to Stockton to Lodi. Currently Kathleen is enjoying her retirement revitalizing hobbies along with exploring writing, reading for pleasure, and spending 24/7 with her husband.

By Jean Steffens & Sally J. Smith

Jean has fond memories of going to the beach on her Hawaiian honeymoon. The cool feel of the waves splashing against her sun-warmed legs and the wet sand squishing between her toes. When she’s had enough fun in the sun, relaxing under an umbrella watching the waves roll in with a Mai Tai and cheeseburger works wonders. After a delicious meal, a good mystery to read is certainly a great way to finish out a day at the beach. And she just happens to know one to recommend—wink, wink!

How ’bout a tropical drink to sip while you and Gabby LeClair are solving a murder?

Hawaiian Mai Tai
1/2 c. light rum
1/2 c. dark rum
1/2 c. fresh lime juice
1/2 c. fresh pineapple juice
3 Tbsp. orange curaçao (or Grand Marnier works, too)
3 Tbsp. orgeat syrup (almond syrup with orange or rose flavoring—buy it in the mixer section)


Mai Tai on Waikiki Beach.

1 oz. simple syrup (clear, also in mixer section)
Crushed or shaved ice (kept in freezer until you’re ready to pour the cocktail over it)
4 slices pineapple, cut into wedges (for garnish)
Fresh mint leaves (hand-bruised for garnish)
Lime wedge (to garnish if it strikes your fancy)

Put all liquid ingredients into a pitcher or cocktail shaker. Shake it up or stir well. Really mix the ingredients. Shaved or crushed ice goes into the highball glasses. Mai tai goes on top of the ice. Really bruise those mint leaves between your fingers and float them on the top of the drink. Hang the pineapple slices on the edge of the glass. The lime wedges are nice too, but the mint leaves and pineapple are key to bringing all the incredible flavors together…Oh, and don’t forget the tiny paper umbrella!


Sally J. Smith and Jean Steffens

Sally has been to Hawaii several times and finds so many things to love about the islands (besides Jean’s divine Mai Tais). The white sand shorelines, no more pristine than the sparkling diamonds of the black sand beaches. The mountain ridges carpeted in cool green velvet that rise above valleys teeming with crops and civilization. The lush tropical vegetation, rich with color, edging dark-water pools and streams fed by cascading waterfalls. The foamy surf, rolling hypnotically on a calm day or pounding the shore with stormy rage when the trades whip into frenzy. The rich legends that tease the imagination. The melodic music lulling you to sleep or setting your hips to swaying. But of all the amazing things about the islands, the most wonderful are the islanders themselves, instilled with the spirt of aloha, that undefinable something, that element of warmth and heart and joy, a generosity and tranquility of the soul. Of course, if we all woke up in paradise every morning, we’d probably be blessed with the spirit of aloha too. Sadly, most of us will never know for certain, but we can always dream of it and visit the islands vicariously on a virtual trip to Aloha Lagoon.

To enter to win either print or kindle copies of Beachboy Murders and the first book in the series, Murder on the Aloha Express, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “aloha,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen June 30, 2018. U.S. residents only for the print copy. If entering via email please include your mailing address so if you win we can get the book sent right out to you), and if via comment please include your email address. PLEASE STATE IN ENTRY WHETHER YOU WANT PRINT OR KINDLE. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. Also be sure to check out our new mystery podcast which launch on June 5.

You can use these links to purchase these books from Amazon. If you have ad blocker on you may not see the link:

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Thanks to Kathleen Costa and Kings River Life for this thorough and excellent coverage of Beachboy Murder and the Aloha Lagoon series. Heck, it even made US want to read it. ?????????

  2. Thanks to Kathleen Costa dn Kings River Life for the thorough and excellent coverage of Beachboy Murder. Heck, Kathleen, you made US want to read it! ????????????

  3. Aloha! I would love. I would love to win copies of these books! What a great giveaway!

  4. I would love one of the mai tais! The books sound like a great read! Thank you for the chance to win them. If I do win, I would like a print version.

  5. The books sound really good and I love the recipe! Ty for the giveaway. legallyblonde1961@yahoo.c

  6. I would love to read this book. I love great authors and great book covers.

  7. I’d love to win print copies. I’ve never been to Hawaii, would love to visit, but am glad I’m not there now!

  8. Wow! A mystery series set in my beloved Hawai’i. Growing up in Minnesota and their frigid winters, I was obsessed with Hawai’i from grade school on. I even did my 5th grade report on Hawaii. My Dad taught at the East West center at U of H, and they lived in Hawaii Kai for several semesters while I was in my 20s, but as my ex wasn’t interested in the islands, we never went down and got free room and board. After my divorce in 2000 at 43, I went back to law school, and followed my dream. I moved to Hawaii with all my stuff and went to school at U of H. Circumstances (kids) meant having to go back to Idaho, but Hawaii never left my heart. So I can’t wait to read these books! I still have a friend who lives in Kauai, who’s a realtor there. These go on the top of my TBR list!

  9. I love to read books set in Hawaii and the recipe sounds delicious. I’ve never been there. Thanks

  10. “Beachboy Murders” sounds like a great summer read. The Mai Tai looks like a good drink to while reading. I would like a print copy.

  11. I know what I’m having for dessert! LOL. This sounds like an adventure I would love to embark on, thank you for the chance. I have a Kindle, but prefer to turn the wonderful pages of a print. Thanks again, konecny7(at)gmail(dot)com

  12. Thanks for the review. Adding it to my TBR. kckendler at gmail dot com

  13. I love that these are new authors and I love to read a new author as my New Years resolution was to read one a month and I am still on track. I also like that this is a print book as I am disabled and can only do print also will review on 2 sites after reading.

  14. I’d love to read these ebooks on my kindle. Thankyou for the opportunity! minishoes(at)msn(dot)com

  15. We have a winner!


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.