Thursday, August 11, 2011

Paradise Lost and Found

By Kyra Grainger From Birds in Paradise (An Aloha Pete Mystery) by Dorothy St. James

I’m sort of like Magnum P.I. We both wear flip-flops. We both work in the beautiful state of Hawai’i. But I’m better looking. I’m also all woman.

Whatever you do don’t tell Aloha Pete.

Well, you can tell him the part about my being a woman.
Pleeasee, by all means, tell him. Tell him! I have an elephant-sized crush on his sexy body. Have had one ever since the first time he’d arrested me. Not that he’s ever noticed.

Just don’t tell him that I’ve reopened my private investigations business. He’s promised to put me in jail and toss the key into the crystal blue Pacific waters if I dared returned to the P.I. business without getting a license first.

Aloha Pete, you see, is a worrywart. He’s also the best darn homicide detective in Honolulu. I helped him solve his last case. Saved his life in the process. You’d think that would have impressed him.

It didn’t.

He told me no license, no business.

Securing a license would require me to take classes, pass a test, become bonded, and do silly stuff like standing on my head while chewing gum. These things cost money, money I don’t have.

If I’m not working, I’m broke. So I take a job here and there to pay for frivolous things like food and shelter.

It's not like I have any other marketable skills. Sniffing out answers no one else can find seems to be my only God-given talent. I’m not going to let a meaningless piece of paper (or lack thereof) stop me from doing what I do best.

Besides, the other day this young woman came to me, begging for my help. Her sister’s gone missing. My new client can’t pay for my services, but what am I going to do, turn her away? Her sister isn’t the first woman to go missing in the past few weeks, and I fear she’s not going to be the last.

A few blocks beyond the glittering beachfront streets of Waikiki, you’ll find a shadow world, a world where desperate women do things for money that they don’t write home to their parents about. That’s where my client’s sister was working when she vanished.

The police are doing what they can, but they have other cases demanding their time. I have the time, and these forgotten women need me.

I will find them and bring them home. Just don’t tell Pete.


Birds In Paradise
, the first Aloha Pete novella, is available for free download for a limited time from Nook and Kindle.

As an added bonus, I've included the first chapter of Flowerbed of State (A White House Gardener Mystery) at the end of the novella for you to sample.

Casey's passion for organic gardening and eye for detail have carried her into the most important patch of land in America--the President's Park, on which sits the most important home in America: the White House.

With the biggest opportunity of her life ready to bloom, and all the President's men plowing up her perfect plans, Casey has to dig in and root out a killer before she ends up planted herself…

Dorothy St. James writes the White House Gardener Mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime. Flowerbed of State is the first book in the series. Be sure to grab your copy while they're still available! Visit with Dorothy on the web or at Facebook. Or follow her on Twitter.

"Credible characters, a fast-paced plot, and a light look at political life in Washington, D.C., will delight cozy fans."
~ Publishers Weekly

"This spunky new romantic suspense series is an obvious pick for readers who enjoy Julie Hyzy's "White House Chef" series (Buffalo West Wing), but also think of gardening mystery series such as Rosemary Harris's (Slugfest)." ~ Library Journal

Order Flowerbed of State from your favorite bookseller.


  1. Seems to me Tess Monaghan got around her licensing problem by "working" for a licensed P.I. Nothing similar in the beautiful state of Hawaii?
    Not that I've met Aloha Pete, but he sounds like more than a worrywart, if he won't cut you some slack after you saved him. Best to bone up on your lock picking skills, in case the jail keys go into the deep.

  2. I won't tell Pete, but maybe he worries because he likes you. I like Liz's suggestion..find a PI office and work for them.

  3. Sounds like a mystery and a trip to Hawaii all mixed up together!!

  4. My lips are sealed. But now I'm thinking about Magnum. Love that Magnum. Must see if Netflix has it...

  5. Kyra,

    You sound a lot like the high school girls I see for counseling. I understand your reasons for not getting a license, but is the real reason you don't take the classes and tests because of fear of failure?

    School Psychologist Skye Denison

  6. Sounds like an ideal combo -- Hawaii & sexy Aloha Pete. I'd try to stay on his good side (jail's not very appealing) but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do. Good luck!

  7. Liv & Dru-- Work for someone else? I suppose that would be the right thing to do. Hmm...

    Skye-- Now you're making me do some deep thinking, which is going to do serious damage to my beach bum status. You're probably right about my fear of failure. (Oohh, I hate to admit that.) Both my parents were overachievers and expected me to follow in their hyperactive footsteps. I couldn't. So after a pressure cooker childhood, I dropped out of college and ran away to Hawai'i. Have to say it was the best decision I'd ever made.

    Heather-- Magnum is sexy, isn't he? Where's my TV?

    Erika-- Aloha Pete is terribly sexy. The most sexy part is that he doesn't even know it. *sighs*

  8. My money's on you, Kyra! Go find that girl. Aloha Pete won't be able to resist your 'reasoning' or other attributes. And he sounds quite irresistible too.

  9. Kyra, I'm with Mary Jane. I bet the other girls will give you information they won't share with Aloha Pete!

    ~ Krista