Title: Murder at Sugar Rush Beach (Detectives Preddy and Harris #3)
Author: Paula Lennon
Published on: 2 March 2022
Genre: Mystery and Thrillers | Police Procedural
Palm trees, white sandy beaches and turquoise sea, the Sugar Rush Beach at Jamaica’s Montego Bay might be the perfect paradise destination… if not for a man stabbed through the heart with an antique awl.
Detective Raythan Preddy is called to the scene of crime. It is New Year’s eve and Preddy was hoping for a quiet start to the next year. The victim, Jerome, was the nephew of a local developer who wanted to convert the quiet Sugar Rush Beach to a high-end tourist complex.
Clues point to the rival developer. But as Preddy and his team start to investigate, the list of suspects grows long. Was it a love affair gone wrong? Was it the sugar daddy of Jerome’s friend (she was in love with Jerome)? Or, is it one of the local business owners? It is up to Detective Preddy to catch the killer.
Wow! What a read! This story took me to Jamaica. Speaking of Jamaica, there was this one song which kept playing in my head as I was reading through.
Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama
Key Largo, Montego, baby, why don’t we go? Jamaica
Well, if you have recently watched the Netflix comedy series Space Force, you would definitely be humming to the tunes of Kokomo by Beach Boys.
The story begins with Detective Preddy on his way to the crime scene. He’s also trying to get in touch with his teenage son, Roman. Roman and his friend were supposed to meet at the Sugar Rush Beach. Preddy is worried if Roman or his friend are caught in the mess.
After reaching the scene of crime and heaving a sigh that Roman is safe and sound, Preddy calls his team – Detectives Sean Harris (A Scotish man), Kathryn Rabino and Javinia Spence. Preddy is a tad hostile towards Harris. It came to Preddy’s knowledge that Harris was appointed by the Super to spy on Preddy – to investigate if he’s a corrupt cop. Preddy still doubts Harris’ actions. But when it comes to police business, he makes sure the hostility doesn’t get in the way.
The victim at the Sugar Rush Beach is the nephew of a local developer. Turns out, a rival developer and the victim (Jerome) did not get along well. Jerome had posted nasty comments about the rival developer on social media. So, it is quite possible he was killed in a fit of rage, no?
Soon, Preddy and his team learns of the other connection. Jerome’s best friend Eryka was in love with him. But, she also had a sugar daddy by the side. This is what Detective Spence calls ‘bun’ – no, not the one-a-penny, two-a-penny, hot-cross-buns; bun is the expression used to indicate ‘two-timing.’ Then there is the mysterious murder weapon – an antique awl. So off go the detectives in search of clues leading to the murder and the murder weapon.
I admit I had a bit of trouble initially with the Jamaican and Scottish lingo. While the Jamaican detectives and suspects use ‘dat’, ‘de’, etc, Harris has a Scottish lilt. At times, it was a tad difficult for me to follow the conversations.
Having said that, the above mentioned niggle did not stop me from enjoying the story. Apart from the crime, we readers are given a sneak peak into the detectives’ personal lives. It did seem like TMI at times but overall, this was an enjoyable read.
One of the Goodreads reviewer has mentioned that fans of Death in Paradise will find Paula Lennon’s Murder at Sugar Rush Beach enjoyable. I haven’t watched Death in Paradise as the series is not available for viewing in India. But if you are familiar with the TV series, you might know what to expect from this book.
If you are looking for a refreshing read, you might want to give Murder at Sugar Rush Beach by Paula Lennon a try. After all, it is summer in this part of the world and… Aruba, Jamaica, ooh, I wanna take ya…
Many thanks to Joffe Books for providing me an ARC of the book in exchange for an honest and an unbiased opinion.