Wrong Beach Island by Jane Kelly

Wrong Beach Island by Jane Kelly as reviewed by Joan Badie 

Captivating is the title, Wrong Beach Island, which recalls one of our Jersey shore vacation favorites and captivating is the wholesome, down-to-earth character of Meg Daniels who somehow fits the image of the author.  Jane Kelly, who also is a librarian, gave a talk at West Deptford Library and was very interesting and informative about the perks of being a writer.

Wrong Beach Island is set in Long Beach Island, of course.  It describes the luxurious homes at Loveladies and Beach Haven.  The heroine is staying at the home of one such wealthy homeowner, Oliver, while finding herself stranded in different parts of the island as well as central New Jersey while investigating on her own the death of one Dallas Spenser. Spenser was shot in the back and washed up on the shore.  His kayak was missing, but not his Rolodex watch or his wallet with $500.  Meg’s current boy friend, Andy, was just about to take her sailing around the Caribbean when an old flame, Page Spenser, called him and induced him to come investigate the death of her husband.  The repartee about why Meg is NOT jealous is amusing…her independence is admirable.  The story is light and easy reading.  She finds herself in somewhat believable unsavory circumstances.

My favorite part of the book is Meg Daniel’s trip into South Jersey to interview a matron who was married to the man under a different name a long time ago.  I liked this part because of the very accurate description of the small split level, immaculately decorated in pink.  I have a split level, however, not so immaculate and not at all  pink.  However, the description was one I really enjoyed.  I almost felt part of the book.

The ending of the book was most unbelievable….(don’t read if you want to read the book and be surprised)….Dallas Spenser was a man who changed identities, but not his initials, ( Dover Snelling, Danvers Sullivan, Denver Spears, Dallas Spenser and was moving on to a new identify as Delray Steelman, sired three sons, all redheads and was finally done in by one of them.  You almost felt sorrier for the murderer than the victim.

It’s a great story, as was Jane Kelly’s other books,  Killing Time in Ocean City and Cape Mayhem.

 

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