Tessa Diamond, newly arrived on the Florida Gulf Coast and looking for something to occupy her time, rescues a baby pufferfish from a hungry gull. Her good deed leads her to the famous Mote Marine Laboratory of Sarasota, and she volunteers to help at the turtle rehabilitation hospital.
When she discovers a dead body where a live turtle should be, she is swept into a shady world of smuggling, Russian gangsters, and coded messages. She confronts murder, attempted ravishment, parrots, sea turtles and big fish, only to encounter blossoming romances at every turn, including one of her own.
She is torn between Cameron Mason, tiger-eyed and handsome, and Dugan Trevally, sexy and dangerous, but before she can drop her longstanding opposition to marriage and accept her true love, she must face the possibility that one of them could be a thief, and even a murderer.
M. S. SpencerAuthor URL: http://http:msspencertalespinner.blogspot.comAuthor Bio
Although M. S. Spencer has lived in Chicago, Boston, New York, France, Morocco, Turkey, Egypt, and England, the last 30 years have been spent mostly in Washington, D.C. as a librarian, Congressional staff assistant, speechwriter, editor, birdwatcher, kayaker, policy wonk, non-profit director and parent. Once she escaped academia, she worked for the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Department of the Interior, in several library systems, both public and academic, and at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. She holds a BA from Vassar College, a Diploma in Arabic Studies from the American University in Cairo, and Masters in Anthropology and in Library Science from the University of Chicago. All of this tends to insinuate itself into her works.
Ms. Spencer has published seven romance novels. The first two, Lost in His Arms and Lost and Found, were published by Red Rose Publishing. The other five—Losers Keepers, Triptych, Artful Dodging: the Torpedo Factory Murders, Mai Tais and Mayhem: Murder at Mote Marine, and Lapses of Memory—were published by Secret Cravings. She has two fabulous grown children, but only one cat (down from three, plus a dog, a snake and two hamsters). She currently divides her time between the Gulf coast of Florida and a tiny village in Maine.
Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique
Word Count: 64848
Formats: EPUB, HTML, LIT, MOBI, PDF
Virginia may be for lovers but romance is definitely in the Sarasota Florida air. Tessa Diamond hoped her move to Sarasota would help her to get over the tragic loss of her lover George, but she finds even senior citizens still have a yen for love and perhaps she should as well. Tessa has a man in her life; she falls for Dugan Trevally’s handsome looks and British accent. They are “friends with benefits” and Tessa is adamant that is as far as their relationship will go and marriage is not an option. George leaves Tessa with enough money she does not need to work so she looks for ways to fill her days. She joins the Anna Maria Turtle Protection League, a group of volunteers who locate and protect turtle nests, especially those of species that are in danger of extinction. Fate has odd ways of putting people into unexpected situations. While walking the beach, Tessa rescues a baby puffer fish from a gull that thinks this is its next meal. The puffer fish is injured and Tessa takes it to Mote Marine Laboratory. Before she has a chance to really think things through, she volunteers to help out in the turtle rehabilitation hospital that is part of the lab. Her good deed leads her on quite a journey when she discovers a dead body in the lab. Her ties to the investigation sweep Tessa into the black market of smuggling exotic animals, Russian gangsters, and the extremely sexy arms of Cameron Mason, a man with many secrets. Tessa’s life is in danger and she is romantically involved with two men and one of them may be the murderer.
Mai Tais and Mayhem is an adorable cozy mystery that has been spiced with some very sexy scenes. The author turns her setting in Sarasota into a cozy town like Cabot Cove from Murder She Wrote. The reader gets to know the merry band of environmentalists who are a close-knit group. Tessa Diamond is a delightful amateur sleuth who not only finds a dead body, but two men who are very much alive, handsome and able to remind her that despite her grief she still has a very active libido. I enjoyed the fact Mai Tais and Mayhem is not just a typical cozy mystery but is a very well written book that has some interesting and unexpected twists in the plotline that enhances the reading experience.