A Dangerous Harbor

Pilgrim's Progress, #1

This is an engaging, well-written mystery with characters that took up residence in my imagination; moving in with all their baggage and quirks. I found them incredibly difficult to dislodge even several days after I had finished reading the book. I loved the setting; the beauty of the waters and the lovely hillsides existing alongside the abject poverty and ugliness of the slummy, sleazy habitats of those less fortunate. The day to day uncertainly of life is realistically portrayed in an area where powerful drug cartels operate from shadowy positions in almost all levels of government. I would have preferred to have seen Katy and Raul’s attraction for each other handled with more subtlety and finesse, but the way in which the mystery was picked at until all the pieces fell in line was phenomenal. Ms. Dalke incorporates just enough humor and light-hearted moments to keep the tale from floundering into an abyss of despair, even as both Raul and Katy throw off their mantles of self-doubt and clinging depression to take another chance on happiness.

Detained for hours by the authorities in a Mexican resort community, after reporting a dead body she found tangled up in seaweed while sailing into port, Katy Hunter is exhausted and quite out of sorts. Just a week remains of her forced vacation from the San Francisco police department, and this is most assuredly not the way she intended to spend her last few days. Dumped by her erstwhile fiancé following the scandal that has also put her job in jeopardy, the last thing Katy is looking for is romantic involvement.

Book Blurb for A Dangerous Harbor

Bleary-eyed and sleep deprived after a long overnighter into Mexico, solo sailor and SFPD police detective, Katrina Hunter, thinks the mermaid twenty yards behind her thirty-two foot Westsail is nothing more than a sailor’s hallucination but everything she knows about floaters convinces her to turn her boat around for another look.

Now, alone and isolated in the Mexican port’s police station for six hours she’s convinced that reporting a floater to authorities was a mistake. Even the arrival of a handsome, if somewhat dour, Mexican/Italian investigator does nothing to dispel her growing anxiety that she’s about to be charged with the murder.

Chief Inspector, Raul Vignaroli, is as surprised by the attractive solo-sailor as he is to find that she’s a respected member of the San Francisco police force, and after some well-placed phone calls he’s sure that he’s found the perfect partner to help him solve a murder, if not the cure for his broken heart.

Night Owl Reviews Aug, 2012 4.50