Peril in Paradise: A Roger and Suzanne Mystery (Roger and Suzanne: book 21) by Jerold Last

Star Rating: 4


Date of publication: January 14th, 2023

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

Series: Roger and Suzanne

The Empanada Affair—Book 1

The Ambivalent Corpse—Book 2

The Surreal Killer—Book 3

The Body in the Parking Structure—Book 4

The Matador Murders—Book 5

The Body in the Bed—Book 6

The Deadly Dog Show—Book 7

The Origin of Murder—Book 8

Unbearably Deadly—Book 9

Science Can Be Murder—Book 10

The Body in the Alpaca Pasture—Book 11

Hunter Down—Book 12

Rum, Cigars, and Corpses—Book 13

Abra Cadaver—Book 14

The Bodies by the Beltway—Book 15

Roger and the Cancelled Czech—Book 16

Dangerous Drugs and Dexterious Dogs—Book 17

A Train to Nowhere—Book 18

Tahoe Trauma—Book 19

Bloody Delta Dawn—Book 20

Peril in Paradise—Book 21

Purchase Links: Kindle | B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:

Roger finds a box in the ocean containing more than a quarter of a million dollars in cash while SCUBA diving in Hawaii. He attempts to return the money to the proper authorities. But things go wrong. Before long the money has disappeared along with two missing FBI agents who can’t be found, and Roger is in trouble with the local police and the FBI. Was the missing money intended for an illegal drug deal, as a payoff for crooked cops, or as a ransom for a kidnap victim? Is it real or counterfeit? Roger follows a twisted trail of illicit drugs, police corruption, and murder in this suspenseful thriller set in the vacation paradise of Maui as he seeks the answers to these questions. There’s plenty of action and several attempts on Roger’s life, as well as beautiful scenery, excellent food, and Kona coffee to be enjoyed before this case is solved.

First Line:

Suzanne and I celebrated our anniversary with a week at a popular luxury hotel on Maui with our good friends Connie, who was a scientific colleague of Suzanne’s, and her husband Jason, who worked with me as a private detective.

Peril in Paradise by Jerold Last

Roger and Suzanne are taking a much-needed vacation in Hawaii with their friends. While scuba diving in an off-tourist area, Roger finds a box in the ocean that contains over a quarter of a million dollars. After contacting a friend in the FBI, he turns the money over to the agents. But things go wrong when the agents disappear with the money. As Roger and his friend investigate the disappearance, they discover that things aren’t what they seem on the peaceful island of Maui. Will Roger be able to solve this case?

Peril in Paradise is the 21st Roger and Suzanne Mystery series book. Yes, you read that right, book 21!!! And the wonderful thing about this is that you can read Peril in Paradise as a standalone book. That alone made this book so much better in my eyes. Of course, I suggest you read the previous 20 books to understand Roger and Suzanne’s backstory better. But if you choose not to, it won’t hurt you.

Peril in Paradise is set on the island of Maui. The storyline is centered around Roger and Jason and their investigation into the missing agents/money and the general mayhem that starts after the money and agents go missing. The author does mention, in his author’s forward, that he had wanted to have a book set in Maui for a while, and I am glad that he chose this book to set it in. I believe that any other setting wouldn’t have done this story justice.

The main storyline focuses on Roger and Jason’s discovery of the money, turning it in, and then their FBI-sanctioned investigation. I found every part of the storyline intriguing and exciting. In an unusual turn, I enjoyed that the author let me, the reader, know who the bad guys were upfront. From that point on, it was more of a focus on Roger and Jason’s investigation and their keeping one step ahead of them.

Speaking of the investigation, I liked that the author kept me guessing when Roger and Jason would capture the bad guys. Oh, and where. But I certainly wasn’t expecting what happened during that showdown to happen. It was foreshadowed several times during the book, but I ignored it. That teaches me, and it made me have a new appreciation for unusual methods.

The end of Peril in Paradise was what I thought it would be. The author wrapped everything up. I wondered what would happen locally after Jason and Roger left, but the author even addressed that.

I recommend Peril in Paradise to anyone over 21. There is language and graphic violence, but no sexual situations.

Many thanks to Jerold Last for allowing me to read and review Peril in Paradise. All opinions stated in this review are mine.

Other books by Jerold Last:

Highland Chieftain (Murray Family: Book 21) by Hannah Howell

Highland Chieftain (The Murrays Book 21) by [Howell, Hannah]

Publisher: Kensington Books, Zebra

Date of publication: September 27th 2016

Genre: Romance

Series: The Murray Family, Book 21

Highland Destiny – Book 1

Highland Honor – Book 2

Highland Promise – Book 3

Highland Vow – Book 4

Highland Knight – Book 5

Highland Bride – Book 6 (Also Book 1 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Angel – Book 7

Highland Groom – Book 8 (Also Book 2 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Warrior – Book 9 (Also Book 3 of the Macenroy series)

Highland Conqueror – Book 10

Highland Champion – Book 11 (Also Book 2 of the Cameron series)

Highland Lover – Book 12 (Also Book 3 of the Cameron series)

Highland Barbarian – Book 13

Highland Savage – Book 14

Highland Wolf – Book 15

Highland Sinner – Book 16

Highland Protector – Book 17

Highland Avenger – Book 18

Highland Master – Book 19

Highland Guard – Book 20

Highland Chieftain – Book 21

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis:

The Murrays are back in this thrilling new tale from New York Times bestselling author Hannah Howell . . .
Responsible for protecting her younger siblings from their abusive father, Bethoc Matheson is in no position to rescue another soul in Scotland. Yet when she sees a bleeding man on the verge of drowning, that’s exactly what she does, securing him safely in a cave where she can return day after day to tend to his wounds.
Sir Callum MacMillan can scarcely believe such a slight lass as Bethoc could save him from the grasp of death. But he knows the telltale marks of an angry fist on her skin, and he knows she has the soul of a fighter within her feminine frame. Raised to be a protector of the weak by his Murray clansmen, Callum would prefer to be the one saving her—and save her, he will. If he can first survive the treacherous attack that led him into her irresistible arms . . .

My review:

Bethoc is a young woman who is a slave and punching bag to her father. Her mother died in childbirth and  Bethoc took her place. She was afraid that it was going to turn sexual because he was starting to look at her like a woman and not a daughter. She protected her six younger siblings from him, including Margaret, a precocious 2-year-old. Bethoc’s mother died giving birth to Margaret. She made her promise to take care of her and never let her out of her sight. Bethoc has followed her orders.

One day, she is walking the shores of the loch by her land, and she finds a man on the beach, half drowned and with a broken leg. After she makes sure he was safe, she helps him to a local cave and sets his leg. She leaves him, goes home, and finds out that her father acquired another child. Her father would bring home boys that were orphaned or living on the street. He would have them work in his fields in exchange for a roof over their heads and food. In total, there were six boys, with ages ranging from 6 to 16. The newest boy was very young, around 4.

Between stepping between her father and the boys and taking care of Margaret, Bethoc has no time for herself. She stretches herself even thinner when she decides that she is going to nurse the man she found back to health. While she is doing that, she finds out that he is looking for a little boy who had been kidnapped. Also that his name is Callum MacMillan of the Murray Clan. He seduces Bethoc on the one rare occasion that she left Margaret with the oldest of the boys.

Once Callum’s men find him, they are planning on taking him and the boy back to Murray land. Callum decides that he is going to take Bethoc, her sister and the boys back with him. When Bethoc went back to the house to gather up the boys, she witnesses the murder of her father. When she returns to bury him, she is arrested by the sheriff of the village for his murder.

I am not going to go into what happens after that but let’s say that things get hairy for Bethoc.

I felt horrible for her. She had so many things go wrong in such a short time that I thought while reading the book, why can’t things go right for her. But things did end up changing for her about halfway through the book, and that’s when I felt like cheering.

I do think that her “witchy powers” (i.e., her sixth sense) should have been mentioned in the first half of the book. Introducing it halfway through confused me. But in a way, it worked.

I liked Callum. The more I learned about him the more I liked him. He went through a lot when he was a boy and made tremendous strides to get over it. He was candid with Bethoc about what happened to him (if you want to know, read the book). That scene in the book made me cry.

Bethoc and Callum’s relationship was pretty much sex from the get-go. No Instalove on either side. The feelings were there. They grew to the point where Bethoc was in love with Callum, and well, he didn’t know what he was with her. For being back in the day, their relationship was pretty modern. He refused to call her his mistress. But he also declined to put a name on their relationship until he was called out on it.

The sex scenes in the book were perfect. Enough detail is given to keep your imagination going. But not so it crossed that boundary into erotica. The only complaint I had was when Callum deflowered Bethoc. There was no build up accept a couple of kisses and then, bam; he was on top of her telling her what he was going to do.

The ending was perfect, and I loved the epilogue!!!

*I do want to note also that this is 100% a standalone book, even if it is #21 in a series!!!

How many stars will I give Highland Chieftain? 3.5-4

Why? A wonderfully written Scottish romance. I did have a small issue with the dialogue (it was written how Scottish people actually talked back then). Other than that, an engrossing read.

Will I reread? Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends? Yes

Age range: Adult

Why: Sex (not graphic), Violence, attempted drowning and attempted rape

**I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book**