New series coming in 2024!!
Marine World Cozy Mystery Series - Maui, Hawai'i
“It is splashtastic! Wow, makes me want a dolphin.”
“Wow! Just wow. How in the world Peyton Stone made a DOLPHIN a side-kick in a cozy, I don't know, but she did it - and it was BRILLIANT!”
About this series
KK's dreams of taking over her family's Marine Ocean Compound are threatened when she witnesses illegal poaching of dolphins. After nearly drowning in a confrontation with the poachers, KK awakens with a newfound determination to go after the attackers. She battles not only poachers, but harassing animal control agents, a grumpy German wedding planner who's obsession with malasada's is borderline postal, and a hot shot from California who says he can tame any wildlife from the ocean with fish and a phone.
Over five books, Keiko Kawai, KK, fights threats from violent poachers, untimely deaths, corruption, and secrets that keep resurfacing as she battles harrowing "accidents", lethal adversaries, and puzzling events to expand her beloved Marine Compound and protect the cherished dolphins she has vowed to keep safe. But determined enemies seem to lurk around every corner of this coastal paradise thwarting her heartfelt plans.
A dream island turned deadly when more than dolphins make a crimson splash on the iconic tropical island.
Enjoy a sample from Whistling Death: A Marine World Cozy Mystery, Book 1 - Releasing January 2024
“Are you sure?” Joseph asked, doubtfully.
“It’s the only thing that makes sense,” she retorted. “At this time of night with that big a boat. And their headlights aren’t on. They’re trying not to be seen.”
KK studied the other boat through the binoculars. Her mother was right, there wasn’t a name on the hull. All she could make out where men in dark clothing. At least three of them were huddled up near the port bow, as if struggling with something. Her blood began to boil as she white knuckled the binoculars.
“Let’s go,” KK growled, handing her dad the binoculars before running toward the anchor. "Ow," she gasped, looking down to see that her father’s hand had darted out and had tightly clasped around her bicep.
“That’s a terrible idea, KK,” he warned, concern wavering in his dark eyes. “It’s getting dark, we don’t know if they’re armed, and we don’t have any way of stopping them in the first place. It’s too dangerous.”
“They’re grabbing something now,” KK insisted. “I saw them trying to grab something. If we don’t go after them now we’re going to lose them.”
“We can report them to the Coast Guard—”
“They’ll take an hour to get here and you know it,” KK persisted. “By the time they arrive the poachers will be long gone.”
Before her father could answer, she extricated her arm from his grip and darted toward the rope dangling off the side. She hauled in the anchor as fast as she could, her adrenaline pumping with a mixture of panic and anger.
“Don’t, Joseph,” KK’s mother cautioned. “She’s right and you know it.”
There was a grumbled protest from her father that was quickly cut off. KK could only imagine that her mother had given him one of her trademark looks. She heard her father sigh in exasperation.
She pulled up the anchor and all but threw it on the floor as she ran toward the steering wheel. She’d been boating since she’d been old enough to learn, and it wasn’t long until the boat had roared back to life and they were charging toward the poachers.
Next to her, KK’s mom was fiddling with the radio, talking into it hurriedly before muttering angrily under her breath and trying again.
“No good,” Katerina called over the sound of the motor. “I’m not getting anything but static right now.”
KK didn’t respond, too intent on her quarry to pay much attention to anything else.
A hand rested on her shoulder and KK spun to see her father.
“They’re going to be suspicious of a boat flying toward them like this,” he told her, with a more determined look in his eyes. “I don’t like that you’re insisting on doing this. But if we’re gonna do it, we should do it right. Otherwise they’ll be gone before we even get close. Slow down,” he advised.
She didn’t want to listen. KK shook her head, shaking out her own stubborn doubts, for she knew her dad was right. She grimaced and ultimately slowed down the boat until it was pleasantly puttering along.
“Atta girl,” Joseph said approvingly.
As they got closer, she realized that her father had been right. Now that they were closer, she could see that the four men were frozen as they watched their boat move closer to them. She could see that two of the men muttered to one another, and one of the men, tall and lanky, moved toward the cockpit.
“Hey there,” Joseph said cheerily, once they were in shouting distance. “Was wondering if you could help. We’re running out of gas and won’t be able to make it back to our dock," he lied.
The men were all wearing black ski masks, however she could see one of them glowering, his teeth barred at her father in a way that made KK’s knuckles turn white against the steering wheel.
“Nope,” the one of the men shouted back. His voice was comically deep and gravelly, as if he were intentionally trying to distort it. “Now get lost. You’re disturbing the fish.”
Something thrashed in the water and made squeaking, clicking sounds that tied a knot in KK’s stomach even as it fueled her wrath. Shifting her eyes from the masked man to the sound, the ire doubled in intensity as she saw what was moving in the water.
A dolphin calf.
On the ship she could see two dolphin carcasses, full grown, unlike the helpless, frightened calf in the net, struggling to break free. Looking at the netting he was trapped in, the knot was cinched too tight. There were nets that were suitable for catching dolphins. This was not one of them. If they didn’t do something, that calf would be as good as dead. As if they hadn't already seen what they had done, one of the men was hurriedly trying to cover the calf with a tarp.
“Dad,” KK hissed sharply. “The net.”
Her father’s head instantly snapped to the poacher’s net in the water, and his hazel eyes, normally warm and friendly, grew wide with shock at the sight, before they narrowed in distaste and an anger that mirrored KK’s own.
“I think it might be best for everything involved if you release the calf immediately,” her dad commanded. His voice was taut with barely controlled anger as he stared down the men.
On the other boat, the poacher’s stiffened, looking at one another with alarm as they communicated silently what to do.
“Now!” The man who had spoken earlier, no longer disguising his voice, ordered before KK or her father could react.
The poacher’s boat launched into action, peeling away from them, leaving large wakes as they sped off. Without waiting for her parents to say or do anything, KK launched their boat after them. Now she understood why her parents invested so much into a boat. Though she doubted it was to chase down poachers, it was the superior speed and horsepower that made boating alongside the wild dolphins a thrill. The only thrill she'd get now, would be to bring those murderous poachers to justice.
“KK let them go,” her father yelled as she forced the boat into pursuit.
“That calf is going to die if we don’t cut it free,” KK yelled back, keeping her eyes on the struggling baby dolphin. “I’m not letting that happen.”