A MelanieM Review: Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations (Mahu #7.5) by Neil S. Plakcy

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Sex, mayhem and justice in the Aloha State as openly gay Honolulu homicide detective tracks murderers, missing people & a dog with unusual appetites.

Accidental Contact and Other coverOpenly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka has had a long and storied career with the Honolulu PD in the Aloha State of Hawaii.  In this selection of ten short investigations in the Aloha State, Kimo goes from rookie officer to seasoned homicide detective in a range of cases from a hearse carrying more than bodies and a psychic with some surprising information for Kimo and his partner.

A wonderful introduction to the rich cultures of the Hawaiian populace as seen through the eyes of its complicated native son.  The stories are captivating, sometimes humorous and always richly layered.  A must for all lovers of detectives on the hunt and mysteries waiting to be solved.

I first discovered Neil Plakcy and his Hawaiian detective, Kimo Kanapa’aka, towards the end of the Mahu series with the novel Natural Predators (Mahu #7). That book was such a revelation.  Plakcy had created in Kimo Kanapa’aka a richly nuanced, highly complex character, one steeped in his family and Hawaiian culture.  Coming in at the seventh  story,  I had missed out on all the character and relationship growth that had taken place prior so that Kimo, his domestic partner, and, foster son could have an established and happy home life.  But the novel had enough glimpses into past stories to let the reader know that the climb to such a contented arrangement has been fraught with pain, difficulties, and a few partings.  That alluring back history was enough to send me racing back to the beginning to see  how it all began and meet Kimo at the start of his career.

Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations allows a reader new to the Mahu series a chance to dip into the life and cases of Kimo and his department at various stages of his life and career.  As the blurb informs “from murderers to missing babies to a shaggy dog with an unusual appetite, openly gay Honolulu homicide detective Kimo Kanapa’aka has his hands full…” with cases both extraordinary and colorful.  But what really sets this detective apart from his counterparts is Plakcy’s ability to bring all aspects of the myriad Hawaiian cultures to life via vivid imagery and a use of colloquialisms and dialects, slang and tonal flow of the voices that swim in that great pot of peoples, traditions, lore, and even societal  prejudices known as Hawaii.

I can get lost in the conversations alone  that Plakcy lays out for his characters. It can sound like music, all soft and flowing with all those 5 vowels and 7 consonants that make up the Hawaiian alphabet, yet what they are actually conveying can be painful and harsh.  Such a dichotomy originates and flows from the land itself.  The author makes the reader see and feel the real Hawaii, not just those postcard beaches and Diamond Head scenes so familiar from travelogues everywhere.  From the ghettos and dark streets teaming with characters as unforgettable as the cases they appear in to the hillsides where the huge and diverse Kanapa’aka family reside, this author takes us on a journey limited only by the natural boundaries of the islands.  And no matter where the destination, or level of society, Plakcy imbues his characters so throughly with all the flaws and human dimension that all levels feel authentic and believable.  Even the criminals here  have their own language with which they impart their own rules and lawlessness yet still remained tied in their own way to their families and cultures.

Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations gets its name from a most memorable excuse an offender offers up to Kimo and his partner during an investigation.   I won’t spoil the reference for you all, its just one of the many delights to be found here.  Normally with a collection, I rate the stories but I can’t do that with this collection.  Each brought its own groups of surprises and memorable moments.  Some ended abruptly just as shaggy dog stories should, others continue to the final satisfactory ending you would hope for.  The end result of them all is to send me once more back to that first story and being my journey with Kimo all over again.

When I think of fine regional voices, the ones that pull you immediately into a culture and region, Neil Plakcy jumps immediately to mind.  His Mahu series should be on everyone’s list of Must Have, Must Read stories and series.  And Kimo Kanapa’aka rates just as highly among the detectives I have come to know and love.    Let this collection be a quick introduction to this marvelous series and author.  And then let it guide you back to all the other fine stories and a romance and love affair to savor.  I highly recommend them all.

 

Cover art by Kris Jacen.  I love the cultural feel of this cover.  Works perfectly for this collection of stories.

Sales Links:  MLR Press     All Romance eBooks (ARe)   amazon    Accidental Contact

Book Details:

ebook
Published August 22nd 2014 by MLR Press
ISBN13MLR1020130286
seriesMahu #7.5

Books in the Mahu series in the order they were written and should be read for character and relationship growth and timelines:

  •  Mahu (Mahu #1)
  • Mahu Surfer (Mahu #2)
    Mahu Fire (Mahu #3)
    Mahu Vice (Mahu Vice #4)
    Mahu Blood (Mahu #5)
  • Zero Break (Mahu #6)
  • Mahu Men: Mysterious and Erotic Stories (Mahu #6.5)
  • Natural Predators (Mahu #7)
    Accidental Contact and Other Mahu Investigations

On Tour with Belinda McBride’s An Uncommon Whore 3: Prince of Faith (contest)

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Check out Belinda McBride’s latest release in her An Uncommon Whore series, A Prince of Faith.  Excerpt and contest can be found below.

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Now let’s get up close and personal with Belinda McBride…

STRW:  A Prince of Faith is the 3 book in An Uncommon Whore series? Can it be read as a stand alone or must the series be read in the order they were written to understand this story and characters?

Belinda:  Yes, Prince of Faith is the third book in the Uncommon Whore series. It can be read as a stand-alone, but to get the most enjoyment out of the book, I’d suggest reading it as part of the series.

STRW:   When writing a novel, do you know in advance if it is to be a series or stand alone?  Or can it change along the way?

Belinda:  Generally I know when I’m going to be doing a series, especially when the world building is fairly extensive. Sometimes I’ve written a stand-alone story and realized along the way that there’s really more to the story than I’m telling in that first book. That was the case with An Uncommon Whore. It was meant to be a short novel and as I finished the book I realized that Helios and Griffin had a very deep story to tell, so one book was clearly not going to be enough.

STRW:  Some authors have said the characters “speak” to them. Do yours do that? Or are they planned out along with the stories?

Belinda:  Sometimes characters do really “pop” and take on a life of their own. I do fairly extensive character development on paper, but there are characters (like Helios) who seem to spring intact from my brain with a voice and personality of their own. April Bleu in Blacque/Bleu was another of those characters; she had no place in the outline of the book. She just rolled into town on a motorcycle and was too awesome to send away!

STRW: I love your vampire and werewolf stories as well as your fantasy. Do you have a favorite genre to write in?

Belinda:  I really enjoy science fiction and space opera. For some reason, I just love the limitless potential of the genre, as well as the action that is inherent to it. But since I’ve been known to send my werewolves into space, I have a hard time picking favorites! LOL!

STRW:   How many books to you have planned for this series or is it open ended?

Belinda:  The Uncommon series is really part of a large sci fi universe I call Coalition. It includes The Bacchi and Belle Starr. While I do plan to end the Uncommon series at book 4, I have no doubt Helios and Griffin will be back in some capacity. I’d also like to do stories for some of the supporting characters that appear in their books.

STRW:  What comes first universe or characters? Do you feel you have to have a world to put them down in or do you have a romance in mind first and then create everything around it?

Belinda:  You know, that really varies. Sometimes I have a scenario or a feeling that captures my imagination. I’ll write a few lines and tuck them away in a file. For example I wanted to write a vampire with insomnia. That’s where Oliver Bleu came from. Griffin Hawke was in my file as a “…one eyed, one balled rapscallion” who was escorting a princess to her castle. I also want to write a book about a bunch of misfits on a spaceship. Once I started playing with that idea, I started harvesting damaged characters from some of the other books I’d written. Other times, I have a very strong idea of the story before I start writing. Blacque and Bleu was completely plotted before I started the book.

STRW:. Will you return to the world of Blaque and Bleu anytime soon? Or are you done with that universe and characters?

Belinda:  I plan one more m/m story in that universe and then will turn to a m/m/f trilogy featuring the women who have appeared in the series. I haven’t finished with Oliver and Lukas, but their story will probably play out as a sub-plot in Dane’s story, but I’m also considering a novella for them. Frankly, I’ll probably always play around in Arcada, there are some great characters lurking on the sidelines.

STRW:   What childhood book or story had the greatest impact on you as a child and writer today?

Belinda:  That’s a tough question because I learned to read really, really early and once I started reading, I read copiously and well beyond my age level. I think the book/s that most affected me as a child and continue to influence me as an adult are Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Georgette Heyer’s Black Sheep. The Tolkien books opened my eyes to fantasy and made me realize I wasn’t the only one having these off dreams and imaginings. And Black Sheep introduced me to romance, dark anti-heroes and tough as nails heroines.

STRW:  What’s next for Belinda McBride?

Belinda McBride:  Lots, actually! I’m currently working on a Doms of Dark Haven/Truckee Wolves cross-over featuring Destiny: the sometimes intrepid and often naked receptionist from Dark Haven. I’m throwing her to the wolves. LOL! I’m also playing with a few different series ideas, some with cowboys, Frenchmen and more science fiction. I’m also developing another Belle Starr story. So lots on the drawing board!

STRW:  Thank you, Belinda, for the great interview.  I know fans of your series are lining up to see what’s in store for their favorite characters next. Now check out a Prince of Faith and don’t forget to enter the contest!

Book Name: An UncommonWhore 3: Prince of Faith
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22931220-prince-of-faith
Author Name: Belinda McBride

Author Bio:

Belinda is an award-winning, top selling author of erotic romance, speculative fiction and LGBTQ romance. She lives in far Northern California with her family and a pack of Siberian Huskies.

A graduate of CSU Chico, she managed to attend the notorious party school without once getting drunk, arrested or appearing in a “Girls Gone Wild” video. Her main focus of study was classical and archival history, cultural anthropology and theatre arts.

After several years in the workforce. Belinda purchased a laptop computer and from there, knew that her childhood dream of being an author would come to life.

Belinda’s books are available at all the typical distributors as well as on the publisher’s homepages.

Author Contact:

@Belinda_McBride

BM_UW3_princeoffaith_coverin_1Title:  A Prince of Faith (An Uncommon Whore #3) by Belinda McBride
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: PL Nunn

Sales Links:   Loose id

A Prince of Faith Blurb:

Held captive in a whorehouse, Markus Dayspring wakes every morning with a thirst for revenge, and collapses every night with a prayer for strength. He lives on in spite of deadly addictions and a crippling, shameful secret. When he’s rescued by a man from his past, his reawakened love threatens to crush his damaged soul.

Caius also has a secret, one that could ultimately kill him. But his vow to rescue Markus is stronger than guilt, fear and even his loyalty to King Helios. Too many have died because of Caius and rescuing the missing prince might allow him to sleep without nightmares.

Old habits are hard to break and new pain threatens their growing love. Yet one gleaming ray of hope continues to guide them to safety, even in the face of an unexpected violation of trust. With the stakes growing higher by the hour, Markus and Caius must learn to have faith before they can heal and face the future together.

Categories: Fantasy, M/M Romance, Romance, Science Fiction

A Prince of Faith Excerpt:

PoFBadgeTemplateTour Dates/Stops:
10/21: Rainbow Gold Reviews, Sinfully Sexy
10/22: Multitasking Mommas, Kimi-Chan
10/23: Prism Book Alliance, Cathy Brockman Romances
10/24: Hearts on Fire, SA McAuley
10/27: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Tara Lain
10/28: Wake Up Your Wild Side, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Carly’s Book Reviews
10/29: Jade Crystal, EE Montgomery
10/30: Amanda C. Stone, The Novel Approach
10/31: The Hat Party, Romance the Night
11/3: MM Good Book Reviews, The Blogger Girls, Fallen Angel Reviews
11/4: Love Bytes, Angel Martinez

 

 

Contest:  Rafflecopter Prize: 2 prizes: 1 – A cover art poster, and 2 – 2 e-books (An Uncommon Whore and When I Fall).  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.  Use the Rafflecopter link below for the entry form and for all additional contest details.

 

Rafflecopter Code: a Rafflecopter giveaway