Murder Frames the Scene: A Hawai‘i Mystery

Paperback: $16.99
ISBN-13: 9780824855291
Published: April 2016

Additional Information

384 pages
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  • About the Book
  • Author and playwright Victoria Kneubuhl returns with another thoroughly entertaining, yet complex, whodunit set in 1930s Hawai`i featuring the lead characters from Murder Casts a Shadow and Murder Leaves Its Mark. The pair of unlikely sleuths—part-Hawaiian Mina Beckwith and her fiancé, part-Samoan Ned Manusia—find themselves unraveling a deadly web of espionage and murder. As the story opens, Ned is in Japanese-occupied Shanghai, where he has been sent to rescue his friend Nigel, a British spy being ruthlessly hunted by the Japanese police. The action moves to Honolulu where Mina is embroiled with a group of eccentric artists whose numbers are being depleted in a series of dramatically staged murders. While Mina looks into the murders of the artists, Ned and Nigel attempt to ferret out a spy sending reports on the activities of the Navy at Pearl Harbor to the Japanese government. The two plot lines become intertwined as Ned and Mina are enmeshed in a dangerous net of international intrigue.

    Like the previous novels, Murder Frames the Scene offers readers a fascinating glimpse into prewar Hawai`i, full of colorful local characters, descriptions of familiar places in another era, and a vivid sense of the islands as much more than beaches and palm trees.

    A Latitude 20 book

  • About the Author(s)
    • Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl, Author

      Victoria Nalani Kneubuhl is a well-known Honolulu playwright and writer. Her work has been performed in Hawai`i and elsewhere in the Pacific, the continental United States, Britain, and Asia. She is currently the writer and coproducer for the television series Biography Hawaiʻi.
  • Reviews and Endorsements
    • When corpses start to appear, Ned and Mina first assume the motive is personal. But Ned and Nigel's surveillance soon points to the possibility of more global forces at work, as they find that even a remote tropical island can feel the force of the storm gathering over Europe. Kneubuhl evokes Charlie Chan . . . with exotic locale and period setting at the forefront.
      Kirkus Reviews
    • [Murder Frames the Scene] takes place in the mid-1930s during a period when the United States was concerned about a possible war with Germany and Japan. As a result, readers get not only a first-rate mystery, but also a spy novel involving pre-World War II Pearl Harbor. . . . This is a complex historical mystery that's challenging for both the detectives and the reader to solve.
      —Joseph Scarpato, Jr., Mystery Scene
    • As in a skillfully created lau hala mat, the author weaves Hawaiian history, local sentiment and her keen knowledge of Honolulu’s people and culture together with the landscape, flora and fauna of this earlier Oahu, making it come alive while presaging the future we, her readers, inhabit. . . . Cinematic in scope, Murder Frames the Scene is an evenly paced, gripping story that takes us back to a Honolulu with fewer people and a slower tempo. It’s refreshing to spend a few days enjoying this simpler time and place.
      Honolulu Star-Advertiser