A few years ago, my mum and I had the opportunity to fly out to the island of Kauai to attend my older cousin’s wedding. We had a wonderful time at the wedding, which was one of the most beautiful celebrations I’ve had the privilege of attending, and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the island during our remaining time there.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit Kauai, I highly recommend it. It’s a gorgeous place, which definitely earns its nickname of “The Garden Island,” and has been used as a filming location for a significant number of movies, including: South Pacific, Blue Hawaii, King Kong, George of the Jungle, and one of my personal favorites…Jurassic Park. (If you’d like to know what other movies were filmed on the island, you might be interested in checking out the Kauai Film website.)
The island also has a wonderful bookshop, Talk Story Bookstore, which is located in Hanapepe. I was very excited to visit Talk Story for two reasons. First, the town in which it is located, Hanapepe, was the model for Lilo’s hometown in Lilo and Stitch. And second, Talk Story is the “westernmost bookstore of the United States.” The bookshop carries a wide range of genres and titles, but my goal was to find some books set in Hawaii. To my delight, I managed to find a complete mystery series, written by Jill Marie Landis, which takes place on Kauai.
“They would have found the body sooner if it hadn’t been two-for-one Mai Tai Night.”Mai Tai One On, by Jill Marie Landis (page 1)
The first book in the Tiki Goddess Mystery series, Mai Tai One On, is a murder mystery set on the North Shore of Kauai. This book introduces readers to Em Johnson, a recently divorced young woman who has come to Kauai to help her uncle run the Tiki Goddess Bar. Em’s life becomes a lot more complicated when one of their neighbors is found dead in the bar’s luau barbeque pit. With a handsome Kauai Police detective looking at Em, Uncle Louis, and the other bar employees as potential murderers, she and a group of local hula dancers take it upon themselves to find their neighbor’s killer.
While I genuinely like Em and Uncle Louis, the characters I love the most in this series are the Hula Maidens, a group of mostly-older women who perform hula together. The Hula Maidens aren’t the greatest dancers in the world, but they do try their best…and they are at the center of many of the most hilarious moments in the series.
If you like cozy mysteries, or you just need something funny to read over the next few weeks, you really can’t go wrong with Mai Tai One On. And, if you enjoy the first book, you’ll love the rest of the titles in the series: Two To Mango, Three To Get Lei’d, Too Hot Four Hula, and Hawaii Five Uh-Oh!