BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Monday, August 10, 2015

Bea Reviews The Musubi Murder by Frankie Bow

Publisher: Five Star Publishing 
Series: Molly Barda #1
Source: the pr firm in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: July 22, 2015
Challenges: COYER Summer Scavenger Hunt | Cruisin' Through the Cozies
Buying Links: Amazon* | Book Depository* | iTunes* | Barnes & Noble
* affiliate links; the blog receives a small commission from purchases made through these links.

Blurb from the author:

In the remote college town of Mahina, Hawaii, Molly Barda just wants to stay out of trouble until she gets tenure, but there’s a problem. A grisly prank targeting a controversial donor puts her college in financial jeopardy. Molly’s hapless ex is implicated, and Molly soon finds herself neck-deep in a stew of corruption, revenge, and murder. Along the way, she finds herself drawn to a local fast-food entrepreneur, the too-good-to-be-true Donnie Gonsalves, who seems to like her for all the wrong reasons–and has a few secrets of his own.

Bea's Thoughts:

A cozy mystery set in Hawaii at a college? Well, how could I resist. Most of what I know about Hawaii I learned from watching "Magnum, P.I." :D

The setting was one of my favorite parts of the story. Not just the Hawaii setting but also the college setting. I could visualize the settings. Rather than a bland, generic setting, "The Musubi Murder" rang with vibrancy and color. Those of us readers, such as myself, who teach, can relate to the budget cuts, the departmental and interdepartmental politics, the deferred building maintenance, etc. regardless of the age you teach.

Molly and her friends Pat and Emma made a good investigations team, even if their initial reason for being involved was slight. Molly's involvement made more sense when she agreed to help an old flame who is tagged as a person of interest in the murder. Molly could be sulky and whiny but she was also smart, loyal, clever, and a dedicated teacher as well a frustrated professor. Bow did a good job drawing the characters and making them real.

I had no clue what musubi was and had to look it up. There were quite a few Hawaiian words that I didn't know; some I could figure out from context while others had me scratching my head. The Kindle dictionary was pretty useless and I had to Google most of them (Amazon, hint hint. Update your dictionary.)

"The Musubi Murder" was full of red herrings, though I did guess who the killer was, excellent use of setting, interesting characters, and a story that kept me entertained. It's a good start to a new series.

A favorite quote:

This is what happens when you gossip abut people using their real names. I have to stop doing that. Using real names, I mean.

About the Author ~ 

Like Molly Barda, Frankie Bow teaches at a public university. Unlike her protagonist, she is blessed with delightful students, sane colleagues, a loving family, and a perfectly nice office chair. She believes if life isn’t fair, at least it can be entertaining.

In addition to writing murder mysteries, she publishes in scholarly journals under her real name. Her experience with academic publishing has taught her to take nothing personally.

Find Frankie Online:


The author is giving away a Musubi Murder mug to one lucky winner. The author is solely responsible for providing the prize. No purchase necessary. VOID where prohibited.

 a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Love the setting Bea. I had to Google the word too. Glad the mystery was good even if you did solve it early

    1. The link in the review didn't work? I included a link to the definition.

  2. Sounds like a fun read and a great setting!!

  3. Thanks for reviewing The Musubi Murder, Bea, and thanks for your great blog! :-)

  4. This sounds really fun and I'm not sure the setting could be better! I'm with you in everything I know about Hawaii being from Magnum PI! I'll have to give this a try but I think I might have to keep my phone handy so I won't have to rely on the Kindle dictionary.

    1. I really liked the settings, both Hawaii and the college. They added a lot to the story. And definitely keep your phone handy. :D

  5. Another book I want to read. The cover, setting and storyline sound perfect.

  6. I bought this book recently as an audiobook so am glad to know you like it, Bea. I thought the setting sounded fun.

    1. The setting really was. I hope you enjoy the book.


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