Away with the Fishes
It all starts with an anonymous ad in the local newspaper. A fisherman is looking for a girl with a bicycle, who can cook, and is willing to marry him. At the same time, an island girl, Rena Baker disappears and a mangled bicycle is found in the road. Is Rena's boyfriend Madison a killer? The police start an investigation, albeit without a body, which leads to a murder trial. Raul Orleans, the head of Customs and Excise on the island, finds strange messages painted on his house suggesting he should look for Rena and the connection she has to the long dead, Captain Dagmore Bowles, a former resident of Oh. The Island of Oh is a special place and not everything is always clear, but the Islanders are used to challenges and maybe even a surprise or two. As the murder trial nears, the community is a hive of activity, hoping for justice and answers in the bicycle case.
This charmingly written book was a delight to read from beginning to end. It's full of wonderful and memorable characters that really come to life through the humorous and lyrical prose. I found that Away With The Fishes was like a magical spell, taking me away to an interesting place that I didn't want to leave. The islanders' stories unfold to reveal intricate connections and surprising twists that made me want to know more about this exotic place and the lives of the people living there. I also liked the way the story weaves in and out between the present and the past, letting the reader really get to know the life of Dagmore Bowles as well as of the other characters.
This sweet and juicy tale was as satisfying as a dip in a clear blue sea on a hot afternoon. What a world it would be if only we could all live on an island like Oh, with a tropical flair and a little magic in the air. Hopefully, its not too much to wish for more dispatches from Oh!
This review was originally written for and published by Manhattan Book Review.