(as of Oct 10,2020 06:00:42 UTC – Details)
In the sketch THE DEADBEAT DAD Kai goes overboard serving papers on a delinquent father living with his underage girlfriend on a borrowed boat. In MURDER ON MOLOKA’I Kai takes on a notorious trust that stops at nothing to carve a resort out of conservation land sacred to Hawaiians. In WIPEOUT! he investigates the suspicious death of a big wave rider at Waimea Bay. In KULA he tracks the missing golden retriever—a famous surfing dog—of a shadowy radio pitchman. In the novelette HANGING TEN IN PARIS Kai probes the apparent suicide of a Hawai‘i surfer and exchange student in the City of Light. And in MURDER AT VOLCANO HOUSE he looks into the death of a former geothermal exec boiled alive in a volcanic steam vent on the Big Island.
With this sampler readers get to know Kai Cooke, a.k.a., the Surfing Detective. A licensed private investigator in the state of Hawai‘i, Kai stands six feet-even in sandals, khakis, and aloha shirt, and has sun-bleached hair. His shoulders are broad from surfing and his chest bears sixteen pink welts left by a tiger shark. In his tiny office above a lei shop on Maunakea Street in Chinatown, his filing cabinet displays a tarnished trophy of his faded glory: “Third Place–Classic Longboard—Mākaha.”
Yet the stereotype of the dimwitted, inarticulate wave-riding dude couldn’t be further from Kai’s character. Surfing actually helps him solve cases: “Sherlock Holmes had his pipe,” he tells us, “I have my surfboard. Floating on the glassy sea I drift into a kind of trance and can disentangle the most intricate web.” He rarely resorts to strong-arm tactics, preferring instead the more contemplative style of the soul-surfer. He is an idealist who looks for the best in people and a realist who is prepared for the worst. And for the worst of the worst, he holds in reserve his Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum.
Along with Kai, a cast of ongoing characters reflects the diverse population of the Hawaiian Islands: Feisty ex-K9 cop, pet detective, and high school crush, Maile Barnes assists Kai in rescuing the famous surfing dog, Kula, and becomes an on-again-off-again love interest; Tommy Woo, attorney and jazz piano virtuoso amuses Kai with his off-color jokes and often has his back; Mrs. Fujiyama rents him office space above her lei shop and offers motherly advice; Cousin Alika Keahola, big-wave riding master, teaches Kai about surfing and life Hawaiian-style. And Kula, the golden retriever the PI and Maile rescued, becomes Kai’s most faithful surfing buddy.
Enjoy this taste of the Surfing Detective series. Again, Bon appetite!