________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIV Number 41 . . . . June 22, 2018


Blue Water Hues. (An Ashley Grant Mystery). (Rapid Reads).

Vicki Delany.
Victoria, BC: Orca, August, 2018.
148 pp., pbk., pdf & epub, $9.95 (pbk.).
ISBN 978-1-4598-1801-9 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-4598-1802-6 (pdf), ISBN 978-1-4598-1803-3 (epub).

Grades 11 and up / Ages 16 and up.

Review by Tara Stieglitz.

*** /4

Reviewed from Advance Reading Copy.



The road was empty. The morning workers had all arrived. Most hotel guests were still in bed. Darlene took a corner far too fast for my liking. The old car picked up speed. I looked out my window and peered over the edge of the cliff. Stones, sand, weeds and scruffy shrubs fell away. The sea crashed against the rocky shore. The edges of the road were crumbling away.

I thrust my foot against the floor as if I could control the brakes. "Hey, take it easy, Darlene. It's a long way down."

"I can't."

"You can't what?" I looked at her. Darlene's eyes were wide with fear, and her mouth open in a silent scream.

My scream wasn't so silent. "What's happening?"

We flew around a bend. I swear the front tire went over the edge. Darlene swung the wheel hard, and the car crossed the middle line.

A bus was coming, struggling up the hill toward us. Darlene pulled back into her lane with inches to spare. The bus driver blew his horn in anger.

"Slow down!" I yelled.

"Brakes aren't working." Her knuckles were white on the steering wheel. Her right foot pounded uselessly on the brake pedal.

Blue Water Hues is the second novel in Vicki Delany's "Ashley Grant Mystery" series, the first being White Sand Blues. Ashley Grant is a Canadian paramedic who moved to a Caribbean for a change of pace after discovering that her would-be fiancé was cheating on her. This novel begins as Ashley, in her role as paramedic, responds to a fire in the kitchen of a ritzy new resort only to discover that the fire has left someone dead. After a second body turns up, Ashley gets curious and starts to investigate on her own, suspecting that there is more to the crimes than the police are letting on.

      Blue Water Hues has a conventional and somewhat predictable mystery plot, though the Caribbean island setting and the varied cast of characters add some variety. Overall, the novel is an entertaining read and is perfect for any mystery fan looking for something quick and easy. Like White Sand Blues, Blue Water Hues is part of Orca Books' "Rapid Read" series. These are short, fast-paced novels written for adults. While they are appropriate for any adult reader who wants something quick and entertaining, their short length, highly engaging plots, and simple vocabulary make them great choices for struggling high school readers or readers whose first language isn't English.


Tara Stieglitz is a librarian at MacEwan University in Edmonton, AB.

To comment on this title or this review, contact cm@umanitoba.ca.

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