Best Be Prepared
by Gwen Florio
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Pub Date 03 Oct 2023 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2023
A tense small town mystery that packs a big punch starring Nora Best.
Nora Best is enjoying the quiet life . . . finally. She's parked up the Airstream on a quiet stretch of beach and is now a seventh-grade teacher in a small peninsula town in the Pacific Northwest. Her biggest worry is keeping up with her quick-witted bunch of students. No drama. No danger. And most importantly – no one turning up dead.
Until they do, that is . . .
When a local environmental activist – and dad to one of her most troublesome students – is killed, Nora once again finds herself in the thick of an investigation that threatens her new-found peace. She soon uncovers that Ward's death is most likely linked to the building of the school's emergency tsunami tower – a project financed by Ward's ex-wife's new husband . . . and one that is testing the town's loyalty.
With emotions, and gossip, running high, in a community where everyone knows everyone else's secrets, Nora is in a race against time to get answers before fall storms slam their vulnerable Pacific Coast peninsula putting everyone's lives in danger!
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 12 members
"Best Be Prepared" delivers an enthralling atmosphere and a gripping mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Set in a charming small town nestled in the breathtaking Pacific Northwest, the story beautifully weaves themes of friendship, loyalty, activism, and closely guarded secrets.
As the plot unfolds, the author masterfully crafts an atmospheric tale that draws readers into the heart of the small peninsula town, where every page brims with intrigue and suspense. The exploration of enduring friendships and unyielding loyalty in the face of hidden truths adds emotional depth to the story.
Additionally, "Best Be Prepared" brilliantly incorporates thought-provoking themes of activism, offering readers a chance to reflect on the power of standing up for what is right and making a difference in the community.
I highly recommend "Best Be Prepared" to all mystery enthusiasts and those who appreciate compelling narratives that tackle relevant social issues. Special thanks to NetGalley for providing the ARC, allowing me the opportunity to discover this captivating and thought-provoking gem.
Heart pounding thriller that left me on the edge of my seat. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Definitely one of the best books this year.
A local developer has donated the construction of a tsunami tower to the small town where teacher Nora Best has settled in her Airstream trailer, seeking peace after the death of her philandering husband. What should have been a welcome gift (the town is almost at sea level and has experiencing flooding from rogue waves) has divided the residents. The developer is Spencer Templeton and his plans to develop the small peninsula town don’t sit well with Ward’s Warriors, an environmental protection group. Then Ward Austin’s dead body is found by one of Nora’s students. Another student is Spencer’s stepson. An imaginative class project leads her deeper into local politics and threats and she sees that she is not the only one in danger. Nora is also questioning personal choices including a relationship that is progressing perhaps too quickly.
Best Be Prepared is a fast moving, atmospheric thriller with well described characters, especially Nora, Janie. Luke and Jeremiah. I look forward to the next in this series. 5 stars.
Thank you to NetGalley, Severn House and Gwen Florio for this ARC.
A Torrid Investigation..
The latest outing in the Nora Best series of mysteries finds Nora finally finding some peace in a small town which suits her perfectly. Unfortunately, things in that small town are about to change when murder most foul makes an unexpected visit. Nora is about to find herself amidst a torrid and upsetting investigation. With a convincing and atmospheric setting, a credible and well crafted cast and an intriguing mystery at heart, this is a worthy entry to the series.
I’d read the first book in this series and somehow missed the next two, but I was able to follow along with the fourth novel in the series just fine. Now Nora Best is a seventh-grade teacher in a remote peninsula in the Pacific Northwest. I don’t think I could handle such a small town that essentially shuts down with rain for nine months a year, but it also sounded kind of beautiful and romantic.
Even though Nora is trying to lead a quiet life, mysteriously, dead bodies pop up wherever she goes. This time it’s environmental crusader Ward Austin. It seems his death might be because he was protesting a tsunami tower being built by millionaire Spencer Templeton—who happens to be married to Ward’s ex-wife.
The town is divided about Spencer wanting to build things like a luxurious hotel with upscale restaurants. Yes, tourists might come, but will they use any local businesses? Once the construction is done, hotel jobs are as minimum wage as the rest of the residents’ paychecks, and they’re already working twelve-hour days struggling to get by.
Florio has a knack for writing female protagonists that aren’t some cookie cutter version of what way too many stories would have women be. Even though she’s a teacher, she’s not a mother, and is sort of awkward around kids. The fact that her new partner is a (very part-time) father has her encounter some uncomfortable scenes with the thirteen-year-old boy. She’s also hesitant to move in with said boyfriend. She’s in her fifties and while she loves Luke, she also loves her alone time with her dog and cat. I really appreciate characters like that because that’s much more my story than women who want nothing more than to become a wife and mother.
Recommend. NetGalley provided an advance copy of this mystery, which RELEASES OCTOBER 3, 2023.
Atmospheric, gripping and tense. It never stopped surprising me and I was satisfied by the solution
Great setting, well plotted characters
Many thanks to the publisher for this ARC, all opinions are mine
I really enjoyed this book. It was gripping and each and every turn kept me guessing. I really enjoyed the writing and flow of the book. If you enjoy a book that has lots of twists and turns this is definitely a good read to pick up. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I definitely recommend this author and series.