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Orchid Beach    by Stuart Woods order for
Orchid Beach
by Stuart Woods
Order:  USA  Can
HarperTorch, 2003 (1998)
Paperback, Audio

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I have enjoyed discovering Stuart Woods' mysteries. He writes a tight novel, full of excitement and suspense, and he creates the greatest characters. Including Daisy, the Doberman. Holly Barker, after losing a sexual harassment case against her commanding officer, resigns from the army and takes the position of Deputy Chief of Police in Orchid Beach, Florida. A position that the members of the police force in that town had hoped would be filled by one of their own.

Holly arrives to discover there have been two murders - the Chief of Police himself, and the Chief's good friend. Being a newcomer, she has no background to work from, and soon realizes she is also in danger. One good note - she has acquired a highly trained Doberman, the Daisy mentioned above. Trained to tear out a malefactor's throat if given the order, Daisy is indeed a comfort to have near. Holly's retired army father joins her, determined to help. The two dead men were friends of his. Enough reason.

The plot progresses quickly from one danger to another with hardly a moment to catch a breath - except that Holly does have a little time to become enamored of a local man who sounds almost too good to be true. For another really good book from a talented writer, you can't go wrong with Orchid Beach.

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