All Darrell Henshaw wanted was to enjoy his honeymoon with his beautiful wife, Erin, in the charming town of Crystal River on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida. But his carefully laid plans go sideways when they discover a hidden painting of two young Latino children, which turns out to be haunted. Is Darrell willing to derail their entire honeymoon in this perfect, quiet corner of the world to unravel the mystery of the children's deaths?
Momma Says: 4 stars⭐⭐⭐⭐
Nothing messes up a honeymoon like a couple of ghosts, right? And they're children! Nothing gives me chills faster than creepy children, but in this case, Randy Overbeck has given us reason to feel something other than creeped out by these ghost children. These kiddos need justice, and who better to get it for them than Darrell Henshaw? Of course, these children are the exact opposite of what Darrell wanted for his honeymoon, which forces him to come clean, and he and his wife set out to help them.
The story is set some 20+ years ago, and some of us remember those days. There were certainly a lot of differences in technology, and I kind of enjoyed the look back. As I expected from this author, the book is well-written, and the pacing is exactly what I want in a mystery. Overbeck also shines when it comes to character development. These characters feel like people you could know, people you could pass on the street or strike up a conversation with in the grocery line. They feel that real. Even Darrell with his gift. Whether I believe people can actually see and hear ghosts or not, it's believable in Darrell. It's just one more part of him. Of course, it's a part of him that can sometimes get him into trouble, but that trouble is one more thing that keeps the pages turning and makes this series so addictive.
Scarlet at Crystal River is book 3 in The Haunted Shores Mysteries, and while there are mentions of things from the first two books, I didn't find any reason it can't work as a standalone. I'd say if you like supernatural mysteries, give Darrell Henshaw and this series a shot. You won't be disappointed.
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