In the idyllic little coastal town where tourism flourishes during one season and it becomes a cozy little place with a lighthouse and daily fishing expeditions in another, the furthest thing from anyone's mind is a murder taking place in the beautiful beachfront home right next door to Binnacle Bay's mayor. Nor does anyone know about or expect the large dog barking on the back porch that alerts him that something's amiss at his neighbor’s home.
So, called to the scene is Binnacle Bay's very own Chief of Police – and main character - Pat Fitzlaff, not sure what he'll find other than the obvious barking dog. However, in addition to a humongous dog that will become his new best friend whose collar reads "Murphy," he also finds the dead body of Gus Murdoch, the architect husband of the couple who owns the home. Upon further inspection, Chief realizes that Murdoch's wife Sasha and her car are missing. Oh, and did I mention that the chief and Sasha used to be in a relationship with one another? Hmmm well the wife is missing and the husband is dead, sounds like an open and shut case doesn’t it? But alas, it isn't even close to being over.
Binnacle Bay has some great characters that fit in just perfectly. We’ve got fishermen who don’t fish, a possible FBI’s Most Wanted couple that could be staying in town somewhere, and an architect who builds homes with secret rooms in them that only the owners know about – it’s not even on the blueprints. Oh and did I mention the missing wife of the dead man is a reporter who, rumor has it, was hot on a story?
I thought for what some might consider a cozy murder mystery book that the pace was great. I didn’t get lost in the details or the gossipy going-ons in a town. Harker didn’t take us there and for that I was thankful. As much as I love old Jessica Fletcher episodes, I wasn’t looking to read one and Binnacle Bay was far from it. The plotline keeps you guessing and doesn’t lag. I actually enjoyed the small coastal town instead of wishing for a big city setting.
I have to say that one of the things that was refreshing about Harker’s book in comparison to a lot of the indie books I come into contact with was the almost impeccable editing of Binnacle Bay. I truly appreciated it. I realize that many authors are doing things on their own, but a good edit and proofread is essential before you put your book out for the public.