Whalebone Junction will be a great beach read, especially for those visiting the North Carolina coast. Not so much for scenery or landmarks, but to give you a feel for the locals. If you come to the beach knowing no one in town, soon you will feel you know Jules Cogan Fiore. Maybe she’s the young grandmother who greeted you the other day while walking Finn, her rescued Bouvier des Flandres, or parking her Harley next to you at the Food Lion.
Kathleen Stowe has the knack of making the protagonist come alive by sharing her inner dialogue. You learn a lot about Jules from her ambiguous flirtations with younger men and reflections like “Of course, now that I own a bike as expensive as my son’s first year of graduate school, Harley-Davidson has started to accelerate production. I still love my bike.”
As the book progressed, the protagonist’s conservative political viewpoint began to get on my liberal nerves. Jules’s conservative outlook was true to the character and setting, though. Her social critique advanced the story by making her a believable, well-rounded main character. Where the persistent emphasis on this viewpoint detracted from the story was by preventing the villian from being an equally well-developed character.
Kathleen Stowe is working on a sequel and I await Jules’s future exploits on North Carolina’s Outer Banks.
Reviewed by Ginny Welding
Jules is a landlady, a rider of a motorcycle, driver of a vintage Mercedes,a fortyish body builder and mother of two grown sons. She owns 10 rental properties on the Outerbanks of North Carolina. Often she calls around to one or the other of her rentals to collect the rent. She pays a mortgage, provides upkeep,and has an Irish Wolfhound to feed. On her trip to collect from one of the rentals this partcular morning she discovers the body of one of her tenants as well as her friend. In the ensuing investigation it seems the police are in a hurry to close the case and wash their hands of the whole mess. Because of her friendship with the victim Jules won't let this happen, so she starts to nose around and a lot of things begins to surface. on the victim, as well as on some of her neighbrs.and some of her other tenants.
Jules is a very interesting character . She is a motorcyclist, a body builder, and she loves her big dog, Finn. She has a nature that won't let her ignore the murder of her friend.
I liked her a lot and found it hard to put this book down till the end.I understand there is a sequel coming...Southern Shores, and I am looking forward to it.
©2002 and beyond by Jennifer Miller and Ginny Welding. Not to be used without permission by anyone except the specific author being reviewed.