“The Lei Crime Series: A Snake in Paradise (Kindle Worlds Novella)” by Eden Baylee is a very impressive crime novella set in Hawaii. It starts with a powerful prologue which features a woman waking up tied up. It leaves the reader with a lot of questions and curiosity for the chapters to come.
Then the actual story begins. Recently divorced Lainey Lee arrives in Hawaii, with a pinch of bitterness and reflection and an appetite to enjoy herself.
She has a snake tattoo that was given to her by her best friend in a symbolic gesture of redefining herself and finding herself.
I’ve read about the book on the author’s blog before its released and have speculated about the title of a ‘snake in paradise’ for some time. There were also music lyrics mentioned in her blog post that befit the theme of dealing with a snake. And a snake will be found indeed.
As single woman Lainey soon gets attention from men on the island, some unwanted and some wanted, which kicks of the mystery and suspense part of the story.
Written with great sensitivity the characters are excellently drawn, the dialogues are sharp and poignant and the plot is well thought out.
An engaging, entertaining and stimulating read. Very enjoyable.
The Book on Amazon (sadly only available in the US store)
Lainey Lee has always dreamed of going to Hawaii. It should have been her honeymoon trip, only it never happened. Now, in a poetic twist of fate, she is making the journey twenty-seven years later—following a messy divorce.
Once on the Big Island, Lainey discovers paradise, but white sand beaches and blue skies are not all Hawaii has to offer. She soon meets Julian, a mysterious stranger ten years her junior. They share an instant connection.
Lainey is eager to shed the fears that trapped her in a loveless marriage, but is Julian a tempting distraction, a new beginning, or a snake in paradise?
Q & A with Eden Baylee
Q: Tell us how your story is connected to Toby Neal’s Lei Crime novels.
EB: A Snake in Paradise happens concurrently with Toby Neal’s first book, Blood Orchids. I have created my own characters, but they co-exist with Toby’s and also take place on the Big Island of Hawaii.
My novella is a mystery and suspense story with a strong female protagonist named Lainey Lee. She is a newly divorced mother of three at a pivotal point in her life. Lainey is someone readers will relate to because she changes and grows throughout the story.
Q: The Lei Crime novels are police procedural mysteries with a twist of romance. What genres do you explore in your story?
EB: The genres I write are erotic romance, suspense, and crime. In A Snake in Paradise, I stay true to my strengths, so all these elements exist in my story. The crimes involved are murder and theft.
Q: What inspired A Snake in Paradise?
EB: A chance encounter inspired the story. I am a firm believer in serendipity and pay attention to odd connections that most people might not think twice about.
A particular gentleman inspired the character of Julian with his playful nature and his love for words. Because the story involves theft, you can even infer he stole something from me. Thankfully for him, it’s not something that will get him arrested.