Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson – Book Review, Preview

Posted June 21, 2019 by Phyllis Helton in Book Reviews /

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I shared some crazy laws from around the world on another post and thought this time I would focus on laws in Oregon, being as the story deals with lawbreakers there.

Babies may not be carried on the running boards of a car. (I guess the roof would be okay, then.)

  • One may not test their physical endurance while driving a car on a highway. (Does this mean I can test it while driving on a city street?)
  • You cannot eat a doughnut and walk backward on a city street in Marion.
  • You cannot wear roller skates in restrooms in Portland.
  • Speaking of skating, when looking for a venue to get married, skip the skating rinks. It is against the law in Portland for a wedding ceremony to be performed at a skating rink.
  • Also in Portland, you may not whistle underwater.
  • Make sure your shoes remain tied while walking in Portland. It is illegal to walk down a sidewalk with shoes untied there.
  • It is illegal to knock a snake’s head off with your cane in Klamath Falls. Be sure to come up with another method to protect yourself!
  • Juggling without a license is strictly prohibited in Hood River!
  • It’s good I no longer live in Oregon or I could have been in trouble yesterday. You see, it is against the law to eat ice cream on Sundays!  (Though I think it is okay to eat an ice cream sundae.)
  • It is illegal for more than two people to share a drink.
  • This may be my favorite. In Myrtle Creek, one may not box with a kangaroo!

Okay, enough silliness for now. Let me tell you about Harbor Secrets. . .

Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson – Book Review, Preview

Harbor Secrets
by Melody Carlson


Series: The Legacy of Sunset Cove #1
Published by WhiteFire Publishing
Publication Date August 14, 2018
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery, Christian Fiction
Setting: Oregon World War I Era - 1914 - 1918
Main Character Ages: 25-34, 15-18
Written for: Adults
Pages: 246

Synopsis:

A Peaceful Coastal Town…Threatened by a Storm of Secrets

It’s 1916 when newspaper woman Anna McDowell learns her estranged father has suffered a stroke. Deciding it’s time to repair bridges, Anna packs up her precocious adolescent daughter and heads for her hometown in Sunset Cove, Oregon.

Although much has changed since the turn of the century, some things haven t. Anna finds the staff of her father s paper not exactly eager to welcome a woman into the editor-in-chief role, but her father insists he wants her at the helm. Anna is quickly pulled into the charming town and her new position…but just as quickly learns this seaside getaway harbors some dark and dangerous secrets.

With Oregon s new statewide prohibition in effect, crime has crept along the seacoast and invaded even idyllic Sunset Cove. Anna only meant to get to know her father again over the summer, but instead she finds herself rooting out the biggest story the town has ever seen and trying to keep her daughter safe from it all.

I would like to thank Celebrate Lit for giving me this copy of the book. This gift did not influence my opinion or review.

Also in this series: Surf Smugglers

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The people of the small town of Sunset Cove, Oregon were harboring secrets. And like a good reporter, Anna is determined to ferret them out.

While the subject of Prohibition is not uncommon in fiction, I have rarely read stories or watched movies about this time that take place anywhere but New York or Chicago. Combining a quiet coastal town in Oregon with rum running and a newspaperwoman makes this story unique.

Reading about the lovely setting of Sunset Cove made me homesick for the Oregon coast. Though I’m not sure if you can be homesick for a place you never lived. . . Nevertheless, the descriptions were great and it was fun to get to know the town and the people who lived there.

As a historical novel, the author showed how revolutionary and even controversial things we take for granted were at the turn of the twentieth century. Treatment for stroke patients, females working at a newspaper, females working at all. I liked the way the Civil War and journeying across on the Oregon Trail were made to feel like recent history.

One of the topics discussed that I thought was done especially well is about whether a “victimless crime” such as breaking prohibition is acceptable.  I won’t steal the author’s thunder and will let you read to see her thoughts on the matter yourself!

The mystery of the secret dealings of some of the less savory characters in town was wrapped up nicely. I was a little disappointed that what could have been a big adventure scene as the events on the dock played out ended up being mentioned in just a paragraph or two without many details.

The story was enjoyable. Yet much of it seemed to gloss over the surface and not go into much detail, rather like the dock scene I mentioned. I would have liked to have seen things go a little deeper than they did.

I recommend this book for all who enjoy historical fiction.

About Melody Carlson

With around 250 books published and 7.5 million sold, Melody Carlson is one of the most prolific writers of our times. Writing primarily for women and teens, and in various genres, she has won numerous national awards—including the Rita, Gold Medallion, Carol Award, Christy, and two career achievement awards. Several of her novels have been optioned for film. Melody makes her home in the Pacific Northwest, where she lives with her husband near the Cascade Mountains. When not writing, Melody enjoys interior design, gardening, camping, and biking.

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One response to “Harbor Secrets by Melody Carlson – Book Review, Preview

  1. Alicia Haney

    Wow, this book sounds intriguing and like a good page turner! I love the title and I love the cover! Thank you for sharing bits and pieces about the book, i really want to read it! God Bless you. Have a Great weekend.

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