The Goat Woman of Largo Bay is the first of a series set in Jamaica and featuring local bartender Shadrach Myers. But it's also very much the story of Simone who, tormented by guilt and regret after her daughter's death, has exiled herself to a small island within sight of Shad's bar in a rural fishing village. Simone's struggles with herself are beautifully told -- she's a character that I hope will reappear in this series.
Shad is a charming and very likeable sleuth -- who better than a bartender to know all the local scuttlebutt? As one reviewer put it, "How can you possibly resist a hero who cools tempers in a heated political exchange by putting on some classic Toots and the Maytals reggae music to get the vibe back on track?"
Gillian Royes is a native of Jamaica and she brings the setting and the people to vivid life. This isn't the tourist's Jamaica but the off-the beaten-track, small village island life, where the local obeah man can provide a woman in danger with Oil of Protection -- and it'll work!
Gillian was a member of my workshop at Wildacres last summer where we got a peek at the next Shad book. Goat Woman is a fine read, especially if you'd enjoy a taste of island life.