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Friday, November 28, 2014

Death by Blue Water: A Hayden Kent Mystery By Kait Carson

by Cynthia Chow

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

When paralegal Hayden Kent needs to get her head together in a place of peace, she looks to the water. So when her long-time boyfriend Kevin suddenly breaks off their relationship, Hayden convinces her commercial diving captain, Cappy, to allow her to dive alone at the Humbolt wreck off of Marathon, Florida.

The beautiful serenity is shattered when Hayden discovers a floating corpse, and although she manages to convince the suspicious Coast Guard and marine police that she isn't suffering from hallucinations induced by nitrogen narcosis, they immediately become more concerned with her migraines and the medications she takes to cope with them. While the body is real, the authorities have reasons to be concerned, as Hayden is hiding the fact that the debilitating migraine attack she suffered on the previous Friday had her blacking out with no memories until she woke up the next morning in a wet bathing suit.

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When it's discovered that the corpse was Kevin's brother Richard, who had planned on picking up Kevin's belongings until Hayden cancelled that Friday, she immediately becomes the number one suspect and Kevin’s testimony only condemns her further. Hayden's attempts to cover up her blackout definitely have the detectives' antenna quivering, and even her supportive friend and boss Grant Huffman at Huffman Koons becomes alarmed. Hayden learns that Richard's ex-wife is the sister of the marine patrol officer at the body recovery scene, and in Officer Janice Kirby she finds a reluctant ally as well as a glimpse into the very complicated world of Cuban immigration and those desperate to start new lives.

The tone is dark and somber as Hayden confronts her fears over being unjustly persecuted as well as the uncertainty over her blackout. The author definitely conveys Hayden's sense of desperation, and the reader empathizes with her need to prove her innocence. The debilitating migraines provide a unique glimpse into a terrifying world of pain and uncertainty, and adds a layer of vulnerability to a very likable character. Viewpoints shift with alternating chapters, adding a layer of mystery as characters become interpreted differently and this guarantees a surprise ending.

Image source: Henery Press

The highlights of this debut novel are the beautiful descriptions of the underwater dives as well the complicated details involved that protect the divers' safety. The author achieves in making the appeal and beauty of recreational diving worth the risk of danger, strengthening the heroine's character and making her a protagonist the reader will want to see succeed.

To enter to win a copy of Death By Blue Water, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Water,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen December 6, 2014. U.S. residents only. If entering via email please include your mailing address.

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. Thanks KRL and Cynthia Chow for a great review. I'm looking forward to hearing about the winner. Cynthia - my mom felt the same way when I got my ears pierced. Go figure!

  2. I can't wait to read your new series, Kait. I'm particularly interested in how you used the alternating POVs to tell the story. ~ Jim

    1. Thanks Jim. I'm looking forward to hearing what you think. The alternating POVs grew from the story itself. Surprised me, it was a first.

  3. Terrific cover really gets my attention. As does this review, and the comment by Jim about the alternating POVs. I put this on my TBR list at Goodreads.

    1. Thanks, Georgia. I hope you like it. Hayden definitely directed the action.

  4. I loved this book. It has old Florida appeal with a contemporary heroine. Kait is a superb writer. I can't wait until the next book. The only thing I don't know about is scuba diving. Not too sure about that!

    1. OK, I just saw this. My apologies. Thank you for the kind words. Scuba is great fun, but a confession here, it definitely requires warm water!

  5. We have a winner
    Lorie Ham, KRL Publisher

  6. Yes! That's great - if you will give me an address (off list) I will be happy to send an autographed book.