Author:Denise Frisino

Publisher:Book Publishers Network


Whiskey Cove immerses us in the lore of rum-running in the Northwest during Prohibition. In painting the vivid characters involved, Frisino goes far beyond the intriguing tales of that period to share the life story of a crusty survivor, Alexandria McKenzie. “Alex”, her husband Jake and his partner Stoney as a team were leaders in running whiskey from Canada into the States through the San Juan islands. It was a dangerous business, evading the law and fighting off the mobs from back east trying to muscle into their territory. Their escapades alone make the book worth reading.

An even more interesting aspect of the story is the relationship that grows between Alex and Jean, a college student hired ostensibly to renovate the gardens around her old house. With all the trickery she applied to rum-running, Alex draws Jean into a search for a mysterious object needed to set her mind at rest before dying. Along with the fascinating stories she tells, she imparts wisdom acquired over the years and fosters a bond between them. We live the unfolding story through Jean’s eyes and watch as Alex introduces her to the ways of the sea.

The mystery surrounding the missing object deepens when it becomes apparent Jean is now stalked by a shadowy figure. To compound matters, the grandson of the runners’ arch enemy, Sheriff Drummond, enters the picture. Jean is soon torn between loyalty to Alex, attraction to Nate Drummond and suspicion of Nate’s motives. The mystery deepens as the story progresses and leaves us engrossed to the very end.

Frisino writes with enchanting style, choosing colorful words and phrases to carry the story along. The dialog is excellent, varied to reflect the speaker and so fitting in the case of Alex. Her character evolves more from what she says and does than from descriptions. She becomes a heroine we can love and admire, hoping for the peace of mind she covets in spite of the transgressions of her youth.

Two love stories, separated by forty years, run in parallel through the book. Each reflects the life style of its time and piques our interest in its own way. However, the one set during Prohibition gives us a first-hand view of the adventure and romance of rum-running, enough to make us envious of that time. Whiskey Cove is an all-round excellent read.

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