Hawaiian Noir

Murder Calls

Reboot, Reboot, Reboot

We’ve seen reboots of Hawai‘i Five-O and McGyver. Now comes word that Magnum P.I. is up for a reboot. I was a little fearful about the Hawai‘i Five-O reboot, but I think it worked out well, so I’m looking forward to this one.

87A96CB8-C4F5-4C06-81F5-6F87C28182F6Magnum was just beginning its first season when we moved to Hawai‘i, so we followed it from the beginning all the way to the end. Magnum with his eyebrows, mustache, and awesome aloha shirts, Higgins, his uptight nemesis,  T.C. Calvin, the helicopter pilot, and Rick Wright, the manager of the Kamehameha Club. The Kamehameha Club, but the way, was actually the Outrigger Canoe Club in Waikiki.

All of the characters are coming back, with one exception: the uptight Jonathan Higgins will be a (presumably) uptight Juliet Higgins, an ex-MI-6 agent. You read more about the reboot in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser here.

I don’t know how I feel about the Juliet Higgins thing. I was pleased when the Five—O reboot made Kono Kalakaua a woman. Kono was somewhat peripheral in the original one, but in the reboot, the change in gender really elevated the role. Grace Park turned Kono into a real kick-ass character,but also a sensitive one. I hate to see Kono go this season.

42E14F75-3A03-4CC2-B52B-BCDCEDF80F8AThe problem with the Higgins role is that it was already a central one. Moreover, I hope they don’t repeat Higgins’s stuffiness because I hate to see that in a female character. I’d rather see the T.C. role go to a woman. As with Kono, I think a woman could really elevate that role, especially a black actress.

Regardless, I’m looking forward to it. Now maybe someone will do a reboot of Hawaiian Eye.

Caribbean Cruise.

We were on a Caribbean cruise, Galveston to Roatan, to Costa Maya, to Cozumel, last week. That’s why there were no posts. the cruise was fun; the food was great; and the booze plentiful. We took a class in mixing martinis and another one in making salsa and margaritas.

How does this tie in with mysteries? The first night we signed up for a mystery dinner. A cast of actors from some of the other shows put on a clever play about an overweight mobster, his wife, his mistress, a rival gangster who wanted to make a deal to divide up the territory, an ambitious young button man, and a waitress who might or might not have been an undercover investigator. It was played for laughs with over the top acting, missed lines, and audience participation. Midway through the play, the overweight mobster was shot, off stage of course. The second act was all about the actors accusing each other and presenting their alibis. At the end, the audience guessed who the identity of the killer. I’ll say up front that I guessed wrong. It was all for laughs anyway. The story was weak. Almost any one of the characters could have plausibly committed the murder. The dinner, in Giovanni’s Table, an upscale Italian restaurant onboard, was fabulous. If you’re ever taking a Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean and you have an opportunity to do the mystery dinner, do it. You will have the time of your life.

Hawke’s Prey

I took Hawke’s Prey by Reavis Z. Wortham with me to read on the cruise. I’m big fan of Wortham and really looked forward to reading this one. This is the first in Ames series. The book came out in July 2017. I was lucky enough to get an advanced copy from Wortham at Left Coast Crime in Honolulu in March. I hadn’t gotten around to reading it because i had shipped it home with other books from the con and forgot about them. You know how it is.

Hawkes Prey introduces Sonny Hawke, a Texas Ranger in the West Texas town of Ballard (which bears some resemblance to Marfa, Texas.) Sonnny is married to a schoolteacher named Kelly. He has twins, a boy and a girl in their early teens. His father still operates the family ranch. The story opens with an attack on s Border Patrol check point by some hardened criminals on their way to meet up with members of several other teams. All are widely diverse and deadly. Their target, the Ballard courthouse.

The story is told from multiple viewpoints—the bad guys, the victims, law enforcement, and Sonny, whose POV is first person. The story moves quickly with plenty of violence and West Texas color. Wortham an ear for speech and it comes off beautifully.

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