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Saturday, July 23, 2016

Honolulu Hottie: A McKenna Mystery By Terry Ambrose

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review.

At the age of 64, Wilson McKenna never expected to find himself as giddy as a teenager and starting a brand new romantic relationship. Having nearly gotten both himself and Benni Kapono killed in a previous investigation, McKenna has promised his love, who is also his best friend’s little sister, to never again get involved in crime fighting. So how is it that not even two weeks have passed before McKenna risks sabotaging their relationship by agreeing to help get his friend Meyer Herschel out of trouble?

It seems that Meyer has managed to get himself arrested for the murder of Victor Dursseau, the employer of the financial manager who stole all of Meyer’s money. The manager disappeared, while a parking ticket and Meyer’s own gun places him at the crime scene. An investigation accusing Meyer of defrauding the Veteran’s Administration of benefits only worsens the situation, so McKenna is more than anxious to offload the case.

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Hope seems to arrive in the form of “Last Chance” Chance Logan, a failed actor who bounced out of Hollywood and landed on McKenna’s doorstep. Having enrolled in the very dubious Phillip Marlowe Online Detective Agency with the goal of becoming a private investigator to the point of buying a red Ferrari like his fictional detecting idol. Chance would seem to be the ideal patsy to take on Meyer’s case. It’s too bad that Meyer succeeds in guilting McKenna into continuing as Chance’s mentor, and soon they are alternating between being bored on stakeouts to going undercover and threatening an unethical doctor.

Image source: Terry Ambrose

Terry Ambrose perfectly captures the Oahu setting from the pidgin dialect to the distinctly local characters. The exchanges between sarcastic McKenna and the naively optimistic Chance are a delight, the latter of whom becomes both deeper and more sympathetic as the novel progresses. McKenna’s emotionally juvenile relationship with Benni is as refreshing as it is sweet, and despite his declarations to put detecting behind him, readers will look forward to the next of his capable and dedicated endeavors in our gorgeous Hawaiian Islands.

To enter to win an e-book of Honolulu Hottie, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “hottie,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen July 30, 2016. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please included your mailing address.

You can use this link to purchase the book:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).


  1. Have just added this to my TBR list and can't wait to read it. brichardson0056@yahoo.com

    1. Best of luck, Becky and thanks for the comment!

  2. Great post! Thanks for the chance to win. I have this series on my TBR list. doward1952@yahoo.com

    1. Good luck, Doward! I'm sure you'll love your virtual trip to O‘ahu.

  3. Sounds like a great read. Definitely adding to my TBR list. Can't wait to read.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and I wish you luck in the contest!

  4. This sounds like a great book, Terry. & it's Hawaii - go figure :P

  5. Just the title sounds like fun 8-))))) much less the actual story.