Welcome to my stop on the Great Escapes Virtual Book Tour for Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery) by Gabby Allan. Stop by each blog on the tour for interviews, guest posts, spotlights, reviews and more!
Whitney Dagner is your tour guide to a Pacific paradise that’s to die for—only to find it’s a place people are also willing to kill for—in Gabby Allan’s Much Ado About Nauticaling, first in the Whit and Whiskers Mystery series.
Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan
I received an ARC of this book free from NetGalley; however, all opinions are my own, and I was not required to give a review. This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I may receive compensation at no cost to you.
Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
1st in Series
Publisher: Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
After far too many years in the Los Angeles corporate world, Whitney Dagner has come home to Santa Catalina Island off the California coast to help her brother Nick run Nautically Yours, the family tourism business. Between gift shop shifts selling all manner of T-shirts and tchotchkes and keeping her feline Whiskers in fine fettle, she pilots the Sea Bounder, a glass bottom boat showing tourists the underwater sights of aquatic plants, marine life—and a murder victim?
The self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” Jules Tisdale was a wealthy man with business interests throughout Catalina who was about to be honored as Person of the Year before someone strangled him with his own tie and tossed his body into the water. That someone appears to be Nick, who had a raw deal from Jules and no alibi the night of his murder. To clear her brother’s name, Whit will have to investigate Jules’ shady associates and not exactly grief-stricken family members—with the unwelcome help of Felix Ramirez, police diver and Whit’s ex-boyfriend who’s looking to rekindle their relationship.
Much Ado about Nauticaling Book Review
Much Ado about Nauticaling is the first book in the fun and brand new Whit and Whiskers Mystery series. Set on Santa Catalina Island, this series centers on Whitney Dagner along with her family and friends.
Whitney, or Whit as she’s known by friends and family, has recently returned home after living the crazy-paced life in Los Angeles. Now she’s living the island life helping her brother run the family’s glass-bottom boat tours and working at her gift shop selling locally crafted items. Island life is calm, relaxing….until a body floats under the glass-bottom boat while Whit and her brother Nick are aboard. And when Nick becomes the prime suspect in the murder, things take a turn from calm to crazy! Since Whit knows her brother would never murder anyone, she sets out to find the real killer!
I really enjoyed getting to know the characters in Much Ado About Nauticaling. First books in series are often difficult since you don’t know anything about the characters. However, it was easy to get to know the characters in this book. I love Whit’s grandparents who previously ran the boat business. They’re so much fun, and you’re going to love them. Her grandmother…but don’t call her that…has a larger than life personality. Whit’s roommate, her ex-boyfriend, and various town members make up the rest of the characters that make this book so enjoyable. And let’s not forget Whiskers. Just like life, books are made better when they include a cat!
Of course, the setting is a huge plus. The author’s descriptive language really brings the island to life. Who wouldn’t love to live on an island with it’s locally owned businesses and eateries where it’s nice and warm, and you can see the ocean every day? That’s the life for me…minus the murder, of course!
I was able to figure out who the murderer was pretty early on in the book, but I watch murder shows every single day! And, obviously, I read mysteries every day too. I mean I’m practically MI-5/SIS/CIA/FBI/PI ready. Much Ado About Nauticaling contains many red herrings that did give me pause. However, I channeled my beloved British detectives and put my little grey cells to work and stuck to my original suspect.
Cozy mystery lovers are really going to enjoy this new series. I’m looking forward to finding out what mystery Whit and friends encounter next!
Guest post from the author: What If?
One of the most fascinating parts of being a mystery author (or a murder worder as a friend called me the other day, and I loved it enough to adopt it as my own!) is the question What If?
As I look around at different places, different people, different scenarios, I often make up stories involving those places or people at the center. I change them as I see fit, giving them backstories that probably have nothing to do with who they really are, incidents that have probably never happened, challenges that they might never face.
Like the guy who walks around the block seven times a day but never stops anywhere. Does he do it exactly seven times every day? Is there a significance to seven? Or is he clocking himself or his steps? Could he stop before he walks seven laps? If he fell would he have a hissy fit if someone tried to make him go to the hospital without finishing that last lap? And then my favorite question to follow up on What If is Why…
The absolute joy of being able to play with the concept of What If is one of the things that keeps me coming back over and over again to tell more stories involving people and places that catch my interest. But the Why is the big juicy cherry in my Shirley Temple. Why do they do these things? What happened in his or her past that keeps them in this pattern?
I keep these places and people in a file. I probably should have it on the computer but raise your hand if you like stationery! A well-placed stickie is one of my favorite things, and I adore that they have so many colors now.
But I digress… Back to What If?
Take the setting for my upcoming book Much Ado About Nauticaling. The island where the book is set is real. It sits off the coast of California, a jewel in the Pacific Ocean. I’ve been there before and always come away refreshed and loving that island-life. And the What Ifs abounded.
What would happen if I put a murderer on the island? Who would have access? What If that person decided that someone knew too much? Or What If the person had died because someone finally had enough of their attitude and things went downhill from there? I love the way stories come together and almost seem to write themselves once I give myself up to the What If. People come in and out of the story. Some stay and others end up getting cut, but without the What If there would be no story to start with.
I love writing with one of my favorite spots as a backdrop too. There are so many possibilities. That shop that been there since I was teen. The woman who sits in her windowsill and flicks the curtain back and forth every time a car or person goes by.
What is she waiting for? Is she worried that someone is coming after her? Is she just that nosy and thinks everyone in town needs to pass her inspection? But What If she saw something she wasn’t supposed to see and is the on the bad guy’s radar because she’s the only eyewitness? Would she call the cops? Or is she hiding something so she can’t call the cops because that would mean she’d get caught too?
Why does she sit there? Is she wishing that she was anywhere else? Is she waiting for a relative to come home that never made it? Is she unable to move beyond the window because she’s afraid she’ll miss something like she did when she was a child?
The possibilities are endless. And What If and Why lead you to notice so many details along the path that we all walk. I leave my phone in my backpack when I’m walking. I let my gaze dart all over the place and try to take in every detail I possibly can. The one blue wall in a sea of gray, the graffiti on the side of the train going through town. The way someone deliberately planted red and blue tulips in a row, alternating colors. Was it that important? Why?
Now I’m fully aware that most people just do things because they want to. Maybe she likes the colors next to each other. Maybe the guy walks seven times because that’s a mile and that will help him stay healthy. Maybe the woman looks out the window because she’s waiting for the delivery man to give her a package she’s been waiting for and she doesn’t want her dogs to bark at him.
But when you’re a murder worder you have to make things connect. If you have a woman who flicks a curtain then that package ought to be super important or she’s there to see something that later she’ll tell the sleuth about. If the man walks around the block then he has to have a reason or he’s not useful to your story. But the What If leads you down avenues you might never have explored. And the Why makes you think of reasons to explore more.
As a murder worder that’s one of my favorite things to share with readers. Let’s go explore – emotions, situations, people, feelings, locations. All ending in a big old dollop of justice. Much Ado About Nauticaling has a ton of What Ifs in it and I enjoyed playing with every single one. I hope you’ll join me in the fun!
About Gabby Allan
After writing plays for her friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and her high school Alma Mater song, GABBY ALLAN finally found her true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share her world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with her down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with her husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where she is hard at work on her next novel.
Website – http://www.gabbyallan.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/GabbyAllanAuthor
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Much Ado About Nauticaling TOUR PARTICIPANTS
Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
The Avid Reader – REVIEW
Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
Novels Alive – GUEST POST
I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
Novels Alive – REVIEW
BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
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