Wednesday, April 16, 2014


The theme of my 2014 A-to-Z Blog Challenge is BLUES, PUPUS, and REVIEWS.
Monday & Wednesday - REVIEWS: mini-style book reviews. 

Toby Neal is the author of the Lei Crime series, two spin-offs of the series, and a stand-alone romance novel. In her spare time, she is working on her memoir and developing a new YA mystery series. She and her photographer husband live on Maui. 

Toby’s latest Lei Crime novel includes two major plot lines, the endangerment of endemic Hawaiian birds that leads to murder, and the potential marriage of the series’ protagonist. With such a significant personal plot line, a ‘runaway bride’ scenario, it seemed inevitable that the mystery plot would suffer. It was an unnecessary concern. Neal weaves the tension of plot and subplot (reader’s choice as to which is which) into a seamless story that never hiccups. 

One suspenseful part of the novel involves the hunt for a killer intent on ending the despicable act of poaching endemic birds by delivering a unique brand of vigilante justice. Controlled narrative pace, excellent description, and rare location in a well-developed mystery add up to a five-star read. 

Anyone who has had an opportunity to see the colorful birds of Hawaii will appreciate the emotional attraction of a storyline that deals with the endangerment of endemic birds. History tells of Polynesians who used red and yellow bird feathers to construct capes, ‘Ahu’ula, for Hawaiian royalty. Even then, bird catchers were forbidden to take the life of the birds, including the red-feathered ‘i’iwi and the yellow-feathered Hawaiian honeycreeper. To catch a glimpse of exotic Hawaiian birds, SHATTERED PALMS takes the reader to a site on Maui that many visitors, residents, and even kama’aina have never experienced. That alone is worth the “price of admission.” 

Because of the local expression, “can-can. no can, no can.” my bucket list now includes a visit to the Hosmer’s Grove trail and overlook at Haleakala National Park.
Check out Shattered Palms at, along with the other Lei Crime novels in the series:


  1. Just stopping by from the A-Z list to say "Hi" and good luck with the rest of the challenge.

    Good theme! x

  2. Thanks for visiting, Vikki. This is the easy side of the AtoZ mountain, so it's all down hill now! Hope you are enjoying the ride.

  3. Sounds interesting and unusual :-)

  4. What a great location for a story! I just had a good author friend move to Maui *packing bags to visit*

    Echoes of Olympus
    A to Z #TeamDamyanti

  5. That sounds like fun! I love books that take me to other locations, and I'm a fan of the mystery genre (obviously). I'll have to check her out!

  6. Well written review. Lucky that you are close enough to scratch that off your bucket list.

    Visiting from A to Z. Glad I found your blog.

  7. Great theme! And this seems like an author I want to get to know. Thanks for sharing.

  8. @Jazz and Samantha, you will enjoy the feel of Maui in Toby's novels.

    Thank you for visiting today, I.L., Kat, and Shauna. Look forward to visiting your sites in return.


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