5 out of 5 stars.
Rum Luck is the first in the Bar on the Beach mystery series by Ryan Aldred and it does not disappoint in the slightest!
Ben Cooper’s wedding has been called off, but he and his friend, Miguel, decide to take the non-refundable plane tickets and hotel and get away from the hustle and bustle of life in Toronto. Unfortunately, things don’t go as planned when Ben gets overly drunk one night and ends up purchasing the bar he’s drinking in. When the owner is then murdered that same night, Ben ends up the main suspect. Their friend, Victoria, who is a lawyer, flies down to Costa Rica to help them out and ends up staying. Now, on top of figuring out how to keep the bar solvent and open, the friends need to find out the real killer before one of them is the next victim!
I started reading this yesterday on my day off and I could not put it down at all. In fact, half of the things I planned to do yesterday didn’t get done because I could not put the book down!
The characters are wonderful. I fell in love with all of them almost immediately. Victoria’s no-nonsense demeanor and knowledge of the law helps when dealing with the police and other legalities of purchasing a business. Ben, once he’s sober, is intelligent and kind, willing to give people the benefit of the doubt. Miguel has his secrets, but he’s certainly loyal to his friends, including the beautiful Ana, the victim’s niece. While we don’t learn a lot of their back story, we learn enough to understand where they are coming from in this book. I’m hoping that we learn more about them as the series continues. They’re definitely complex characters and wonderful ones at that.
There’s maybe a little more descriptions of settings than I normally would like, but it’s just right for the context. Describing another country is not always an easy thing. Mr. Aldred does it with ease. I could easily envision what the streets and buildings are like in this coastal Costa Rican town.
The story line is very fast-paced, but manages to be so without being confusing. Sometimes when a book moves quickly, it’s easy to miss details that are important. I never felt like I missed anything, the story just moved along very quickly. It was very action-driven.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves a good, fast-paced, action-driven mystery. I cannot wait for the next book!
[I received a free e-copy of this book from the author through NetGalley. All opinions and conclusions expressed are my own.]