The dead body in the pool is putting a serious dent in Geoff’s morning. An ex-pat property manager on the Caribbean island of Bequia, Geoff doesn’t want a spotlight shone on the secret past he left behind in Canada, but now he’s the suspect in a brutal murder. With no help from the inept local police force, he’s drawn into investigating the murder himself, to clear his name. As Geoff finds out more about the circumstances surrounding the killing, and he and his loved ones find themselves in danger, he begins to see a very dark underbelly of the place some people call paradise…
Part travelogue, part mystery, Island in the Clouds takes a long, hard look at the reality of living in a place that seems perfect — from the outside, anyway.
So here we have a dead body in a swimming pool, a fantastic locale, and a cracking good yarn. Ever dreamed of running away to a Caribbean island? Author Susan Toy entertains while providing the inside scoop on what that might be like. And not to worry. You’ll exit this mystery with your dreams intact.
~ Ken McGoogan, author, How the Scots Invented Canada, Fatal Passage
Island in the Clouds is a wondrous mystery, set on the lush island of Bequia in the Caribbean. A Canadian with a secret past becomes both suspect and investigator for two murders on the island. Along the way, he shares sharp insights into the history and life of this gleaming gem of a place. Susan M. Toy is a keen stylist who never fails to drive her story forward with a sure hand. As in all well-crafted mysteries, the solution to the crimes is both thoroughly surprising and perfectly logical. Toy shows us the sights and lets us hear the rhythms of the islanders and, cunningly, allows us to peek into the lives of a sexy set of expats.
~ Michael Fay was the founder of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society
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Soon after moving to Bequia in 1996, we received a message from a fellow Queen’s grad who saw our notice in the university’s Alumni Review about retiring to a Caribbean island. She wanted to pick our brains about our experience of moving to the tropics. That’s how we met Gwen Whitford who came to check out Bequia. She eventually settled on the island of Dominica and still lives there today, where she teaches and writes. I was in contact with her again in January when I announced the ePublication of my new novel. Gwen offered then to read and review it. As well as sending me some very kind words, she also attached pictures to be included in my Where in the World??? promotion. Thanks, Gwen!
Gwen in Dominica:
I finished ‘Clouds” last night and I LOVE IT! I was spellbound by the development of the plot and the quirky twists that you sprinkled throughout. Sometimes I found I was even holding my breath! I also was laughing to myself about many of the cultural differences that you so cleverly pointed out between foreigners and Bequians – well I would say all West Indians for the most part. As an expat living in Dominica for almost 15 years, I could really identify with so many of Geoff’s remarks about life on Bequia. I also wondered how readers who have not spent much time in the Caribbean (other than as a tourist) would identify with the cultural differences. Don’t Stop the Carnival!
In addition, I was intrigued by the descriptions of Bequia and I could actually place myself in many of the locations (Admiralty Bay, Moonhole, the taxi stand, the Frangi Hotel, the ferry dock, etc), thanks to the two visits I had with you. My slight familiarity with the setting really added to my enjoyment of ‘Clouds’, because I could easily picture the places in my mind. However, your narrative, but very descriptive writing style would make it easy for any reader to ‘picture’ the place.
In my dreams, I can see myself flopped down on one of Bequia’s lovely beaches with ‘Clouds’ on my lap, a cool brew beside me, and between chapters, a dip in the sea as I work my way through it in an afternoon or two.
Thanks again for this wonderful murder mystery. I can’t wait for the next one!
Canadian author Susan Toy on her porch overlooking Admiralty Bay in Bequia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines:
Discussion about Island in the Clouds on Tripadvisor