Welcome to Cozy Wednesday!
Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan
I am thrilled to welcome Gabby Allan to Escape With Dollycas!
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
After writing plays for my friends to act out as a kid, bad poetry in high school, and my high school Alma Mater song, I finally found my true passion—cozy mysteries. Being able to share my world with readers, one laugh at a time, and touch people’s hearts with my down-to-earth characters makes for the best job ever. This California girl now lives with my husband, daughter, and two insane dogs in Central Pennsylvania where I am hard at work on my next novel, or three. I love to tell stories and am very much known for not being able to have less than an hour-long conversation and even that is short. So if you’re going to call, make sure you have the time to talk about all the things!
What are three things most people don’t know about you?
I was born in Hawaii. I married the boy who had a crush on me in ninth grade even though we didn’t start dating until after high school. I often plot stories in the shower and draw my thoughts on the shower wall with a water crayon.
What is the first book you remember reading?
The Maggie B.
What are you reading now?
What books have most inspired you?
I love books about characters who not only survive but thrive during and after challenges.
What made you decide you wanted to write mysteries?
Lots of Murder, She Wrote and Perry Mason when I was younger. Plus I really enjoy the ability to murder on the page and know that there will be justice!
Do you have a special place where you like to write?
My huge desk that is actually supposed to be a breakfast bar but I like to repurpose furniture as often as possible!
Where do the ideas for your books come from?
News articles, people who irritate me, anywhere and everywhere 😊 LOL
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?
Sometimes that first chapter in a new story needs a little coaxing to get things moving.
What do you think makes a good story?
Characters I want to go find and have coffee with.
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?
They’re all a little like me. But I think Whit has a lot of my sass and spunk and I love her for it.
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?
I’m going to have to say the difference is probably that I wrote more of a RomCozy – rom com and cozy mixed into one and sitting on the beach having a Mai Tai.
What’s next on the horizon for you?
Whit and Whiskers 2 Something Fishy This Way Comes releases in July 2022 and I can’t wait for you to continue these adventures with my girl Whit and her frisky kitty Whiskers!
Thank you so much, Gabby for dropping by today!
Keep reading for my thoughts about Much Ado about Nauticaling.
About Much Ado about Nauticaling
Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
1st in Series
Setting – California
Publisher: Kensington (July 27, 2021)
Paperback: 256 pages
Digital ASIN: B08TB5M4K8
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.
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.
In this first Whit and Whiskers Mystery, we meet Whitney Dagner, her cat Whiskers, and her brother Nick. She has left her high-pressure job and returned to Santa Catalina Island to help Nick in the family business Nautically Yours. Their business offers glass-bottom boat tours so tourists can view fantastic underwater sights. Whitney is also opening a gift shop selling all kinds of souvenir-type items, including treasure maps and puzzles. She is just getting her sea legs back when she looks through the glass bottom of the boat and sees a dead body. OMG, Jules Tisdale, the self-proclaimed “Master of the Island,” is dead and it definitely was not due to natural causes. The police quickly decide Nick is their prime suspect. Whitney knows her brother is innocent, she just needs to prove it and she receives help from an unwanted source . . . her ex-boyfriend, Felix Ramirez. He not only wants to help her investigate, but he would also be really happy to give their relationship a second chance.
After reading this book, I want to plan a vacation to Santa Catalina. It sounds like an idyllic place sans the murder, of course. A tour in a glass-bottom boat, enjoying several restaurants, and relaxing on the beach sounds wonderful to me. The author does an excellent job of bringing her setting to life.
We are introduced to several characters in this story. In addition to Whitney and Nick, we meet their grandparents, Pops and Goldy. The kids visited their grandparents every summer while growing up and the place just feels like home. I love Goldy. She is a confident woman who knows what she wants and how to get it. The woman takes her wardrobe very seriously as well as her make-up. It is not unusual to see Goldy walking around town in a swimsuit, cover-up, and high heels so she can soak up the sunshine rays as often as she can. I would love her life. Pops is well suited to her. He brings the calm to hectic situations and knows how to handle his wife. They have left the business to Nick and Whitney but are there quickly to help in a pinch. We also meet Whitney’s roommate, Maribel, and her ex, Felix but I think we have just scratched the surface of the characters’ pasts and current situations. The is a lot of room for character development in future books.
The mystery is pretty standard but boy, Whitney really needs to work on her investigative skills if she is going to shine as an amateur sleuth. She needs to be more focused. She is all over the place with her theories, and readers are treated to thoughts as she tries to bring the clues together to pin down the killer. There are several suspects and Nick isn’t really a big help. I really like that her cat plays a key role throughout the story. The mystery had a nice slow build which I enjoyed but then the pace picked up and the ending felt a little rushed. It did leave some subplots and questions open making me excited for the next book in the series.
Much Ado about Nauticaling is setting this series off to a great start. I hope the main characters are more fleshed out as the series continues. I want to get to know them better.
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More 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.
Great Escapes Praise for Much Ado about Nauticaling (A Whit and Whiskers Mystery)
by Gabby Allan
The storyline is intricately woven with many motives and suspects. . . . I can already see this is going to be a fun series and I’m looking forward to reading more.
~Socrates’ Book Reviews…
Much Ado about Nauticaling is a carefree cozy with a cuddly cat, a glass-bottom boat, treasure map trouble, a bothersome ex-beau, and straggling sand.
~The Avid Reader
MUCH ADO ABOUT NAUTICALING is a breezy island mystery with great characters and a wonderful setting.
~Cozy Up With Kathy
This story has all the promise of a good cozy series. The setting is wonderful. There are some terrific characters and the author obviously knows how to tell a story.
~I Read What You Write!
July 30 – Socrates Book Reviews – REVIEW
July 30 – Here’s How It Happened – SPOTLIGHT
July 31 – The Avid Reader – REVIEW
July 31 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
August 1 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW
August 1 – eBook Addicts – SPOTLIGHT
August 2 – Novels Alive – GUEST POST
August 2 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 3 – Book Club Librarian – REVIEW
August 3 – Mysteries with Character – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 4 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW
August 4 – Maureen’s Musings – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 5 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW
August 6 – Mochas, Mysteries and Meows – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
August 6 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 7 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW
August 8 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST
August 9 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT
August 9 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – REVIEW, GUEST POST
August 10 – Reading, Writing & Stitch-Metic – GUEST POST
August 11 – Novels Alive – REVIEW
August 12 – BookishKelly2020 – SPOTLIGHT
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Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”