Scotia MacKinnon
Created by Sharon Duncan

The cover description:

She has a sailboat docked on San Juan Island, a maritime attorney (Nicholas "Nick" Anastazi) for a lover, and a flourishing career as a private eye. Life is as good as it gets for Scotia MacKinnon. But there's that destiny thing. This time her name's Elyse Montenegro, a paranoid beauty claiming to be stalked. It would've been a case strictly for the cops if not for the sudden and mysterious death of Elyse's best friend. Or the search into Elyse's past - and her late husband's unsolved murder. Scotia's raising questions as dark and troubling as the clouds gathering over the mainland. A storm's brewing. Scotia's going to get caught in the deluge. And it might not be her destiny to make it out alive....

I skimmed through about the first thirty pages (my TBR pile has to be seen to be believed) and found a few places where Scotia (evidently her real name -- it means "Scotland") gives us the scoop on herself:

"I'm a private investigator on San Juan Island, a thirteen thousand-year-old pile of rock in the San Juan Archipelago that lies between mainland Washington State and Vancouver Island in British Columbia. I live aboard DragonSpray, a thirty-eight-foot replica of the sailing yacht the intrepid Captain Joshua Slocum sailed around the world in the last years of the nineteenth century. Most of my day-to-day work consists of research and investigation for attorneys and insurance brokers and occasional private clients on San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez Islands."

And, a couple of paragraphs later:

I simultaneously regretted and rejoiced that I no longer used 'Spray as my office. A home office is fine, but on a sailboat, space belowdecks is intimate. Intimacy is not something I encourage with my clients. After a spine-chilling visit from an estranged wife with multiple personalities, I rented a one-room second-floor office in the Olde Gazette Building on Guard Street.

I don't know. This all sounds sort of corny and Harlequinesque, and the author's bio, where she takes pains to point out that she's an avid sailor who lives in a house near the sea with "a black dog named Captain and a bossy feline who answers to Watson" doesn't help. In fact, it triggers my gag reflex, though I might just be a little seasick. But who knows? Joe Gores apparently really liked it, and he doesn't strike me as the type who goes for "cute."



Respectfully submitted by Nathalie Bumpeau, who so far isn't convinced...

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