About the book:
Currently a semifinalist for the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Award for Best Historical Mystery of 2018, Trouble in Tampa is a thrilling look at the Wild South of Florida in 1885. An easy assignment for sharpshooter and ex-Pinkerton investigator, Oliver Redcastle, turns deadly. A wealthy Baltimore art collector sends an employee to Florida. When that man goes missing, the rich man hires Oliver to find him. Reluctantly, Oliver boards Henry Plant’s newly constructed train to Florida. At the end of the line he gets off in Tampa to find a swamp load of trouble. He’s betrayed by an old acquaintance, and by not one, but two passionate women. Oliver is railroaded into one of old Florida’s infamous turpentine camps. There he must use his sharpshooting skill to escape certain death. But that means a harrowing trek through miles of dangerous animals, dangerous people, and shocking intrigues. In Key West he meets female Pinkerton operative, Hannah Kinchman. She got him into trouble in Tampa. But Oliver has a soft spot for Hannah. Together they fight their way through kidnapping, treasure hunts, intrigue, and the beautiful but treacherous Florida Everglades. Will Oliver overcome the many hurdles blocking his way home? It won’t be easy!
The title, Trouble in Tampa, is definitely an understatement in this historical novel about life – and death – in southern Florida during the late 1800s. Private detective Oliver Redcastle reluctantly leaves his ailing daughter with a trusted caregiver to undertake what he hopes will be a simple missing person inquiry. He eventually solves the case, but not before witnessing an assassination attempt, being falsely imprisoned in a hidden turpentine camp, barely escaping a shotgun wedding, being adopted by a parrot with an extremely broad vocabulary, undertaking a forced treasure hunt in the Everglades, and much more. In the beginning of the book, I was a little distracted by a style that seemed a little terse and colorless, but as Redcastle stepped off the train into the barely civilized south of Florida, the story burst into a colorful collage of unusual characters and intriguing plot twists that made it hard to put down. This was my first novel by Louise Tichener, but it won’t be my last.
About the author:
Louise Titchener is the author of over forty traditionally published novels in a variety of genres including romance, science-fiction-fantasy, and mystery. She has two published mystery series. The first is set in Baltimore and features Toni Credella, a dyslexic young woman determined to defend her sex against evildoers. The Oliver Redcastle historical series is set in the 1880’s and features a sharp shooter and ex-Pinkerton protagonist. The first two Redcastle mysteries take place in Baltimore where Louise spent many years. Trouble in Tampa is set in the area where Louise now lives with her philosophy professor husband. In addition to writing and reading she likes to kayak, admire the beautiful tropical birds in her neighborhood, and take long walks.