by Kathleen Costa
This week we have a review of Killing in the Caribbean by Jennifer Fischetto, along with an interesting interview with Jennifer. Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win an ebook copy of the book, and a link to purchase it.
Killing in the Caribbean by Jennifer Fischetto
Trade Winds and Murder
Elizabeth Foster was named after her grandmother and great-grandmother, and along with two cousins, the family has plenty of “Elizabeths.” How ’bout a “Zibby”? For eight months, Zibby, young and single, has been employed as a dancer in the entertainment productions on the Athena, the “jewel of the Voyage Cruise Line.” She expanded her responsibilities to include providing dance lessons to the ship’s guests. Men and women of all ages and levels, guests get an close and personal experience with the Salsa, Cha-Cha Slide, the Macarena, and the Wobble. During her time as a member of the staff, she’s gained a close friend in Cady Hart, a singer in the same cruise shows. Her nickname is short for “Cadence,” musical term for rhythm. Her mother thought it apropos since her time in the womb was often effected by her reactions to music. Together they make a formidable pair whether performing, or exploring, or investigating…a murder.
Killing in the Caribbean earns 5/5 Rum Shots…Killer Entertainment!
Zibby and Cady are very excited about arriving in Barbados and having three-days of well-deserved free time. Zibby’s never been to the island and looks forward to sampling the local rum, and Cady can’t wait to see her long-distance beau, Aiden Griffith, who’s opened up a new bar/restaurant, Ocean Grille. While at the restaurant, they met a group of thirty-something college friends who are having an impromptu class reunion. The fifth wheel in the group, Barclay Murdock, invites Zibby and Cady to join them, and plans are made for the two to tag along to Harrison’s Caves, a must-see local attraction. However, tensions seem high among the college friends, an odd sight in the restroom seems to have a logical explanation, and an “intense” confrontation is witnessed. So…murder? Barclay collapses, dead. Could this ruin Aiden’s restaurant’s reputation? Not if Zibby and Cady can help it.
Wow! Jennifer Fischetto has penned an entertaining cozy adventure with everything from a clever plot and varied personalities to twists, turns, and…rum! Jennifer’s writing style uses a first-person narrative from Zibby’s perspective giving me the delightful vicarious role in the drama with the “I” references. She fills the pages with descriptive language to put readers right in the middle of the tropical paradise: sights, smells, sounds, and popular Barbados sites. The entertaining dialogue did well to set the tone and humor, and illustrates the various personalities from trusting to devious, open to secretive, and helpful to murderous. The drama is well-written, traditional, with friends, not friends, criminal organizations, and secrets…lots of them, but the creative manner in which Jennifer unfolds connections, motives, and a final “oh, my!” ending kept me turning the page well into the wee hours. Zibby is a strong character I am eager to follow, but not without her flaws, issues, and secrets of her own; there’s also an encouraging romantic possibility. Is it a first-in-a-series book? I sure hope so! Sadly, no bonus recipes, just mouthwatering descriptions of Aiden’s restaurant specialties, but I’d love to make macaroni pie…if only I had the recipe!
Be a Big Jennifer Fischetto Fan!
USA Today Bestselling Author Jennifer Fischetto is the author of the delightful three-book Gianna Mancini Mysteries. Gianna Mancini communicates with ghosts. She also co-writes the six-book Jamie Bond Mysteries series with Gemma Halliday. Jamie Bond is a model turned private investigator. She also penned Death by Scones in the GHP Danger Cove multi-author series starring Riley Spencer, new owner of Cinnamon Sugar Bakery. All are entertaining, clever, and a cozy for everyone’s taste.
Put on Your Dancing Shoes!
Zibby is popular with cruise guests helping them to twist, twirl, and strut their stuff on the dance floor. Check out these tutorials, and make your own stay-at-home party. Move the furniture, create your own dance floor, gather family and friends (with masks, please), and have fun!
I didn’t know “The Wobble”; I had to google it, but it’s lots of fun, and great exercise!
YouTube: The Wobble (2:34)
I know the Cha-Cha, but this “slide” version is great fun!
YouTube: Cha-Cha Slide (3:49)
I never was a Macarena fan, but I was a teacher of nine and ten year olds, so I had to endure to be cool!
YouTube: The Macarena (1:27)
Interview with Jennifer Fischetto:
KRL: How long have you been writing?
Jennifer: I started writing seriously for publication in 2005, but I’ve been writing short stories and creatively since I was a child. Many years ago, lol.
KRL: When did your first novel come out? What was it called? Can you tell us a little about it?
Jennifer: My first published book was Unbreakable Bond, co-written with Gemma Halliday. It came out in 2012 and is about a former model, Jamie Bond, who takes over her Father’s private investigation agency, with the help of three former models.
KRL: Have you always written mysteries/suspense? If not, what else have you written?
Jennifer: Yes, I’ve been in love with mysteries and suspense since I was a child. It started with Nancy Drew. I have dabbled in some urban fantasy, but it leans toward mystery too.
KRL: What brought you to choose the setting and characters in your latest book/series?
Jennifer: Killing in the Caribbean is set on a cruise ship. Their destination is Barbados. I’ve never visited the island, but I have a friend whose family is from there, and it sounded like the perfect vacation spot.
KRL: Do you write to entertain, or is there something more you want the readers to take away from your work?
Jennifer: I write what moves and interests me. My hope is to entertain and to share different views and experiences with my readers.
KRL: Do you have a schedule for your writing or just write whenever you can?
Jennifer: I write Monday through Thursday and every other Friday.
KRL: Do you outline? If not, do you have some other interesting way that you keep track of what is going on, or what needs to happen in your book when you are writing it?
Jennifer: Oh yes! lol I outline scene by scene. That’s how the books come to me, by scene. I believe my lengthiest outline was 35K words, the length of a novella. Most aren’t that long, but I tend to start at the beginning and jot down whatever is going on, some internal thoughts and feelings, dialogue, some senses, and the actions and purpose of the scene. How much I include in an outline varies.
KRL: If you had your ideal, what time of day would you prefer to write?
Jennifer: Definitely mornings which is what I do now. I am freshest when I first wake up!
KRL: Did you find it difficult to get published in the beginning?
Jennifer: Very. I sent query letters to traditional publishers with only a couple of agents interested in seeing more. They never amounted to anything though. I truly lucked out when I received an email from Gemma Halliday asking if I’d like to co-write a book with her. She had been my mentor years earlier, through Romance Divas, an online forum for writers. She had remembered our work together. I, of course, jumped at the chance, and it was only a couple of years after the first Jamie Bond book that Gemma started her own publishing company. I have been with Gemma Halliday Publishing since.
KRL: Do you have a great rejection/critique or acceptance story that you’d like to share?
Jennifer: I don’t! It was all very ordinary.
KRL: Most interesting book signing story-in a bookstore or other venue?
Jennifer: I haven’t participated in a book signing yet.
KRL: Future writing goals?
Jennifer: I’m currently editing Book 4 in the Gianna Mancini Mysteries series and writing Book 5. They should release next year. I also want to venture away from paranormal cozies but stay in the supernatural mystery genre. I can’t announce those plans yet, as we’ll have to see how the rest of the year goes first.
KRL: Writing heroes?
Jennifer: Kelley Armstrong, Courtney Summers, Gemma Halliday, Leslie Langtry, Darynda Jones, and original James Patterson and Dean Koontz (I haven’t read their newer books)
KRL: What kind of research do you do?
Jennifer: It varies per book. In the Gianna Mancini Mystery series, it’s mostly poisons and other ways to commit murder. In Killing in the Caribbean, it also included the island of Barbados and working on cruise ships. It involved a lot of travel guides, some TripAdvisor reviews, maps, and a few YouTube channels of real-life cruise workers.
KRL: What do you read?
Jennifer: I love horror, crime fiction, suspense, and some urban fantasy and thrillers. I also went through a long period of inhaling young adult contemporaries, some sweet and more “issue” books. They hold a special place in my heart.
KRL: Favorite TV or movies?
Jennifer: Original Charmed (the reboot is good too), The Haunting of Hill House (the Netflix series as well as the movies), The Vampire Diaries, The Birds, The Omen trilogy, Uninvited and The Killing. Shall I continue? 😉
KRL: Any advice for aspiring or beginning writers?
Jennifer: Write, read, rinse, and repeat. 🙂
KRL: What is something people would be surprised to know about you?
Jennifer: I still own a doll I received when I was in kindergarten (maybe younger). Mrs Beaseley from Family Affair, a TV show from the 1960s. She no longer talks, I lost her eyeglasses, and everyone I know thinks she’s creepy looking, lol.
To enter to win an ebook copy of Killing in the Caribbean, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “caribbean,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen September 5, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. You can read our privacy statement here if you like. BE AWARE DUE TO THE CURRENT PANDEMIC BOOKS WILL TAKE LONGER TO GET TO WINNERS.
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 listen to our new mystery podcast where mystery short stories and first chapters are read by actors! They are also available on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. A new episode went up last week! One of Jennifer’s books will be featured in a podcast episode later this year.
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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.