Rum Luck, by Ryan Aldred (2016)

Mystery
Adult
Rum Luck, by Ryan AldredCanadian Ben Cooper is in Costa Rica for his honeymoon. But the wedding is off, and instead of waking up with a smile, he comes to in jail with only a fuzzy memory of what happened the night before. Lots, it turns out. In a single booze-fueled evening, Ben developed a wobbly business plan and bought a beach bar with the money he and his bride had saved for a downpayment on a home, locked himself out of his account, lost his phone, and is now charged with the murder of the owner of the bar he just bought. His pal Victoria, a high-priced Toronto lawyer, flies in to bail him out, and with best man Miguel, the three try to determine what exactly happened that night. At the same time Ben is forced to open the bar and earn some money in order to stave off sure bankruptcy, losing all the money he sunk into the joint. Complicating matters is a series of threats and mishaps, making it clear the murderer is still at large and has an eye on the bar, and the people in it. I thoroughly enjoyed this complex mystery that is sure to dissuade readers of any dreams of owning a bar on the beach in the tropics! Sprinkled with just the right number of quirky Canadian references, the narrative is well paced with authentic dialogue. The characters are well developed and a number of leads both false and helpful contribute to a complicated plot that will keep you guessing to the final reveal. A great debut from a new Canadian author. My thanks to Five Star Publishing for the advance reading copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
More discussion and reviews of this novel: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28532402
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About Michelle Mallette
I'm just trying to keep track of the books I've read - what I liked and what isn't worth re-reading. My work as a librarian has included youth services so you'll find a wide range of interests from picture books and teen dystopia to adult sci-fi, road trip novels, and nonfiction. Comments and communication is always welcome.

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