A Blanche Murninghan Mystery Book 3
Book Blog Tour – Book Review
Genre: Fiction / Mystery / Cosy Mystery / Humorous / Adventure Mystery
It’s 2003, nearly 30 years after the Vietnam War…Blanche “Bang” Murninghan is sitting on the dock of the Peel ‘n Eat Pier on Santa Maria Island, sipping an excellent draft and wiggling her fishing pole after an elusive sheepshead. It’s hot out and the sun is shining. She doesn’t see the woman eyeing her from the fishing hut—not until she appears at Blanche’s side and forever disrupts Blanche’s peaceful idyll in this quiet Gulf coast town.
The woman is Jean McMahon and she needs Blanche’s help—her amateur sleuthing skills have become local legend after she helped solve the murder of a friend and dodge some drug-dealing land developers. Jean needs a good dose of that Blanche determination and doggedness. It’s not a simple favor Jean asks. Will Blanche go to Vietnam with her and look for Jean’s mother?
It’s as if Jean has ripped a new hole in Blanche’s heart. Her father was killed in Vietnam, and she’s never gotten much history from her beloved grandmother and mother on the subject. Jean’s request grows on her. Blanche wants the truth…Blanche and Jean don’t stop once they land in Saigon, now Ho Chi Minh City, and ex-pat “Stick” Dahlkamp makes sure of that. They pick up the search together. The three cross the rice paddies on Stick’s Honda Dream to Ben Tre and My Tho, old stomping grounds for Stick, a former Ninth Infantry Division Riverine and now bar owner of the popular, The Follies. He’s got friends in jungle towns who might help, and indeed they do. And don’t. Blanche begins to wonder if he’s running them off the road.
They trace Jean’s mother’s steps around South Vietnam, to where she met Hank McMahon, an infantry scout with the old Americal division. They meet more than one shady character who thinks it better to let things lie, deep and peaceful, just the way that they were after the horror of war passed. But Blanche’s stubbornness beats down the door. She is looking for Jean’s mother and following her father’s trail. He left without a trace. Or did he? Does anyone?
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Nancy has an easy-to-read writing style. Her writing has moments of humour and angst and adventure. There were times that I felt like there was a little too much explanation but I still enjoyed the read. I became committed to the story from the first page because I was wondering why someone was watching Blanche so intently and from a distance.
The storyline was very interesting. There was adventure, detective skills, growing friendships, sadness, happiness and humour. I feel like Nancy covered all the bases. I mostly kept guessing with the storyline. Thanks to how well Nancy explained the world around the characters, I could imagine it in my head. That is always a good thing because then you live yourself into the book.
The two main ladies were written well. I enjoyed both of them and going on their journey with them. The dialogue was easy to understand and I didn’t struggle to keep up at all. The other characters all helped the story move along nicely. This is book 3 in a series but each book has its own story to tell and the plot lines don’t flow into each other.
I would recommend this book to anyone that enjoys sleuthing books. Or books with adventure and new friendships.
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