A holiday to the Caribbean is always a treat, but if you can’t quite make it this summer you can try the next best thing and immerse yourself in an engaging novel set in the beautiful islands.

Grab your copy of Murder in Montego Bay, by Paula Lennon and Swimming with Fishes, By Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm for great writing against a Jamaican backdrop. Read on for more about the books from the authors.

Murder in Montego Bay

Escape to the Caribbean this summer with these island based reads An exciting new detective series set in the Caribbean island of Jamaica. Introducing crime-fighting duo Jamaican Detective Raythan Preddy and Scottish lawman Detective Sean Harris set in the picturesque city of Montego Bay.

Escape to the Caribbean this summer with these island based reads Paula Lennon on Murder in Montego Bay

Murder in Montego Bay really delivers as a deft and entertaining police procedural. What one thing do you feel makes it stand out from the crowd?
If I can pick only one thing, it would be the language. Everybody speaks in either English or Patois or a mixture of both, which is very much what you would hear from day to day in Jamaica. The Patois is light enough for non-Jamaicans to easily follow and is meant to enrich the dialogue.

Many crime writers admit to having more fun with their shadier characters. Was this true for you?
It was great fun to invent the suspects and devise the red herrings, but what I enjoyed most was making Preddy suffer – which is strange since I’m his biggest fan! He is not the sort of person to stay down though, no matter how many times he gets hit. It was great to be able to show his strength and tenacity.

I assume you’re an avid crime reader yourself? Which authors keep you hooked?
I do love to read crime and mysteries: Agatha Christie, PD James, Ruth Rendell, Patricia Cornwell and Colin Dexter. I also love cozies like Alexander McCall Smith’s lady detective series. My tastes in literature is quite wide though. For me good stories are good stories whatever the genre. My bookshelves contain Anthony Winkler, Velma Pollard, Pamela Mordecai, Carolyn Cooper, Olive Senior, Erna Brodber, Kei Miller, Marlon James, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Chigozie Obioma, Chinua Achebe, Edwidge Danticat and Elizabeth Nunez, as well as Yann Martel, Mark Haddon, Irvine Welsh and George Orwell.

 

Swimming with Fishes

Escape to the Caribbean this summer with these island based reads

An intelligent, complex romance for the modern woman, exploring morality, women’s health, and self-empowerment, set in Jamaica.

Escape to the Caribbean this summer with these island based reads Rasheda Ashanti Malcolm on Swimming with Fishes

Swimming with Fishes is your first novel – what inspired you to write a romance novel?
I guess it was seeing too many broken hearts, shattered lives, listening to women across generations talking about the lack of genuine love, the absence of sincere men, all these factors driving them to dating sites with the ultimate goal of finding someone to love and who will return that love.

Swimming with Fishes is partly set in rural Jamaica – was it important to you to show the other side of “the sea, the beach and the hotels”?
Yes, that analogy was crucial. The real lives of locals who live on an island that tourists/holiday makers find idyllic, perhaps without ever really considering how the majority of the locals live or think . . . it was important to show the sub cultures that exist inside the main culture and how tourists are viewed by some.

Did you feel it was important to use light touches of Patois in your story?
Definitely. I wanted the reader to hear the rhythm and get an understanding of the beautiful way Jamaicans have with words, and explaining happenings.

If you had to recommend to our readers a book by a female author, what would it be?
Their Eyes Were Watching God, the story of a black woman looking for love and happiness in America’s South, by Zora Neal Hurston.

Order Murder in Montego Bay today on Amazon

Order Swimming with Fishes today on Amazon.

Interviews reproduced from Jacaranda Books.
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