In this quirky low-key murder mystery, Storm Ketchum, a damaged emigre to the coastal town of Avon on North Carolina's Outer Banks, likes to mind his own business and isn't any kind of detective - until he's forced to become one by extraordinary circumstances.
On the verge of losing his modest waterfront home to an unscrupulous developer, Ketch stumbles onto the scene of a crime that might expose the perpetrator of an unsolved murder and enable him to save not only his own home, but also the similarly threatened bohemian boatyard community he's inexorably drawn into. And in case Plan A fails, he's hard at work on a Plan B that's both laudable and pitiable - if he can't stop them from seizing his property and ruining what's left of his historic town, he's hell-bent on turning the event into a political statement.
Together with his loyal dog, a salty charter boat captain, the sketchy denizens of the boatyard, and an alluring scuba diving instructor who may or may not have a hidden agenda, Ketch struggles to make sense of his new reality, while trying to save some of the things that really matter along the way.
"When a wealthy developer suspected of murder comes offering money for the land, Ketch is the last to hold out. Ketch's knowledge of the island is professorial, something that will appeal to readers who adore a strong sense of place. The accented dialogue creates the right southern atmosphere... A good effort." (Publishers Weekly)
"Garrett Dennis' Port Starbird has everything that a fun, summer weather novel should have - adventure, romance, beautiful beaches, guitar playing, underwater excursions, and, of course, murder mystery intrigue!" (Red City Review)
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Really enjoyable mystery with great scenery
Port Starbird is a fun mystery adventure story of Storm Ketchum, a jack of all trades who resides in Wilminton, NC a beautiful small coastal town. The story nicely winds together 3 subplots involving shady characters, a home in peril, and a romance. Three words to describe Port Starbird are: splendific, hapless romance, and noble.
I loved the suspense of the deep sea dive and the suspicious characters. I also enjoyed the mystery around the girlfriend--was she involved in the crime?
I most loved the Captain
I most enjoyed the main character of Storm. He was well developed and a fun character to get to know.
I have done many audiobooks. The reading was a 9-out-of-10 in my experience. Good understanding of the material, good characterization of the characters, on top of a pleasant, interesting, non-sensationalized story made this book a pleasure.
I thought the singing of one of the songs in the book was a pleasant surprise. I don't think I've run into such a thing previously in an audiobook. Very pleasant, very unexpected, very good fit into the storyline, the way it was done.
Mr. Holte's reading was always clear, pleasant, and in-character. He added to the tale, I believe, and nowhere did I ever feel he detracted from it.
Tough question. At my age I remember so little 8-). Yet, I seem to remember all the characters. The unassuming Mr. Ketchum was nicely painted and easily remembered, except for his name, but that is my problem, not his. Perhaps the most memorable character is the skipper in the song Mr. Ketchum wrote. Makes ya wish you could have met the old salt.
A wonderful little story, infused with real-feeling characters and laced with enough reality for one to really care about the characters and the outcome. I will be reading, or more probably listening, to Garrett Dennis' next installment in the life of Storm Ketchum.