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I'd really felt like Roberts had been phoning it in with her last couple of novels, but she's made it all right again with Whiskey Beach.
Here we have smart, likable people as the hero and heroine. Abra is a jack-of-all-trades, cleaning houses, cooking, giving massages, teaching yoga and making jewelry. But she still makes time to tend to the battered soul that is Eli. Accused of murdering his estranged wife, never charged, never exonerated, he's withdrawn into himself and comes to Whiskey Beach, Massachusetts, to his old family home, looking for some peace.
There's murder, a wonderful old house with a long history, ancient scandal and lost treasure.
I read this because I'm still a loyal Roberts fan, and as one of the books for my 101 Things in 1001 Days. There will probably be a lot of Roberts books on my list of 33 books to read in those 1001 days. I hope they all live up to this one.
As with most romance novels, there are some issues, and the template remains in place. Man and woman meet, fall in love, encounter a problem, solve the problem and stay together forever. The question is how they'll do it, not whether.
I liked that Roberts devoted so much time to Eli's perspective - the male perspective is often lacking in romance stories. That's one of the author's strong suits: she gives us a glimpse into everyone's psyche, one way or another.
Like with Columbo, it's really no surprise as to who the murderer is. We can figure that out fairly early into it. The story is in how the protagonists figure it out, how they draw the killer out. That was pretty satisfying.