Oak Island Mysteries
by Lance Carney
Cozy mystery

Ripped Tide
No Egrets
Mantis Preying

The Oak Island mysteries take place in a North Carolina seaside vacation town, featuring various denizens and, so far, medical-related crimes. There are three books so far and the two I’ve read are very different.

Ripped Tide stars a sharp-witted hero with weird friends, and the banter among them is excellent. The plot is pretty good, kept me guessing, and the writing fairly crisp. Carney has a lot of potential as a comic mystery writer, Yuckees should look into this book. Story 3, craft 4, humor 4.

No Egrets stars a pair of bar owners, with occasional cameos by the characters in Ripped Tide. Unfortunately, this one did not work as well as Ripped Tide. The “quirky friends” roles in No Egrets are played by the various bar patrons, and while they are slightly entertaining, they get a lot of time, overshadowing the main characters, who are not nearly as much fun as in Ripped Tide. The writing is a little clumsy in places, and the plot bogs down towards the end. Yucks Nation would be best served to skip this one. Story 1, craft 2, humor 2.

Mantis Preying — This third book in the Oak Island series gets back to Danial O’Dwyer as in Ripped Tide. This is an improvement over the bar owner heroes in the second book. The plot was a bit more complicated here, but generally was a fun mystery. Story 3, craft 4, humor 4.

Story 3, Craft 4, Humor 4 (for best of the series). Click title above to see the book on Amazon.