One Big Itch
by Sara Williams


ArcheBooks Publishing, 2009. ISBN 1-59507-197-0.
Reviewed by Doris Anne Roop-Benner
Posted on 02/15/2010

Fiction: Mystery

Since I love Hawaii and enjoy mystery stories, Sara Williams gave me everything I could want in a book. Well, it's not really a book. It's a complete, full-length, unabridged novel in a space-saving magazine format. You'll have to see it to appreciate the portability of it.

John Spyer is a PI who drives a car named Em (named after his twin sister Emmalaea) when he's in Honolulu camping out at his cousin Duke's. He actually lives in Lahaina on the Island of Maui where he's been since his late teens. His girlfriend Maya lives in Miami. He met her when she hired him after her husband was murdered and the government was trying to seize her ranch. They have an unusual long distance relationship.

Randolph Kealoha Bishop Haverhill and John Spyer grew up together in the Nuuanu Valley, but they went their separate ways. Randy became a celebrity economist bent on saving governments from themselves; while John engaged in the business of salvaging people, one client at a time. Eva Haverhill was Randy's first wife and is bitter about their divorce and his subsequent marriage to Hillary, a younger and wealthier woman. Randy and Eva's son Toby is caught in the cross fire.

John is called to investigate a murder that involved a shotgun, a knife, and a written note under the knife in the back of the deceased. Was the victim involved in some side games that he was hiding? Why would someone shoot and stab him in the back? What does the message mean? Tutu Lia, who lives near the crime scene, is a very wise woman who will help to solve the mystery.

In addition to all the twists and turns with lots of interesting characters, there's plenty of Hawaiian history and lingo that challenges you to read more slowly. And even though Williams throws in some titillating scenes, they did not distract me or detract from the main story.

So, be a Tutu (wise woman) and go get a copy wikiwiki.


Sara Williams and her husband Bill landed on the island of Maui in their own sailboat some thirty years ago, intent on visiting an old friend. They loved Hawaii so much that they opened a business in Lahaina and stayed for a decade. Sara, a magazine writer and newspaper reporter, became engrossed in the fascinating art, history and culture of Hawaii. Williams' other books are The Don Juan Con, and The Serenoa Scandal which is a prequel to One Big Itch. Visit her website.

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