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The island of Kaua`i is remote jungle, golden beaches and ancient culture--but transients are disappearing in paradise, and only Detective Lei Texeira notices. Fleeing a failed engagement, Detective Lei Texeira transfers to the island of Kaua`i, where she uncovers a pattern of disappearances that may be related to a bizarre cult--or is it just one madman at work? In Lei's world, everyone is guilty until proven innocent. In Blood Orchids Lei battled her personal demons and won--but now they've come roaring back with reinforcements, including charming real estate magnate Alika Wolcott and former fiancé Michael Stevens. In the midst of the biggest case sleepy Kaua`i has ever seen, Lei must also discover who she loves. "Lei Texeira is both tough detective and a vulnerable woman in a winning Hawaii crime series created by novelist Toby Neal." --David Bishop, mystery author About the Author: Toby Neal was raised on Kaua`i in Hawaii. She wrote and illustrated her first story at age 5. After initially majoring in journalism, she settled on mental health as a career and loves her work, saying, "I'm endlessly fascinated with people's stories." Toby credits her counseling background in adding depth to her characters--from the villains to Lei Texeira, the courageous multicultural heroine of the Lei Crime Series.
therapy so long ago. The road, a narrow two-lane highway winding between lush banks of jungle growth, required some attention. Lei still wasn’t over the thrill of owning her new Toyota truck, and she stomped on the gas just to feel the surge of power that answered. It wasn’t long before she pulled into the sandy parking lot at Pine Trees Park in Hanalei. She got out of the pickup and walked over to a picnic table that overlooked the ocean, doing a slow scan of the park. Decrepit, graffitied
reached into the cooler beside her, carefully broke the seal on the paper bag, and took out the plastic ziplock evidence bag. The severed hand looked forlorn and hideous, slipping back and forth in pinkish fluid, a parody of a wave. She pointed to the protruding bone. “Tool marks. I think this might be related to the investigation.” Lei set the bag containing the hand down on the conference table. Stevens still hadn’t spoken, but now he came forward and picked it up, held it against the light.
called the Tommy Bahama look—deep, comfortable aloha-print rattan chairs, woven mats, palmetto fans, and a gleaming desk with nothing but a Mac computer on it. Ms. Wolcott rose from behind the desk, a regal Hawaiian woman in a short, fitted muumuu, her black hair wound into a topknot and pierced with ivory chopsticks. She came around and extended her hand to Lei. “Oh, my mistake, Detective . . . ?” “Texeira, ma’am. A pleasure to meet you, and I wish it were in happier circumstances.” Lei
body yesterday. The rain had uncovered it. Got a call late yesterday—a positive ID on her.” “Oh my God. Shit like this just doesn’t happen on Kauai.” “You’d be surprised at what happens on Kauai, sheltered boy. Lisa was into something major with that meth lab. It’s priority one to find Darrell Hines, the guy who you told me got her into it. The detectives on her case are interviewing all her friends and family, so I was wondering if you had any more information we could follow up on.” “I may
Lei headed for the ledge. In seconds, the flashlights had the little hollow pinned in their white glare. Becky climbed up on the ledge with a boost from Stevens, balancing with difficulty on the edge. She shone her light into the hollow containing the bones. Without a word she got out her camera, and the flash burned the scene onto Lei’s retinas over and over, a grisly tableau she’d never be able to forget. Becky turned to them, the mask pushed onto her head, lips pale with cold. “Looks like