Thursday, June 12, 2014

Celebrate Hawaii Week - Aloha to Chip Hughes, The Surfing Detective, and MURDER AT VOLCANO HOUSE


For our finale of Celebrate Hawaii Week, we invite Pele, the Volcano Goddess, from Chip Hughes' MURDER AT VOLCANO HOUSE:

Kai Cooke comes to the Volcano House for his strangest case yet—protecting the CEO of a geothermal venture from the wrath of Pele, legendary goddess of volcanoes. Rex Ransom is here in Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park to attend the funeral for his second employee to die mysteriously in Pele’s domain. His wife sees a pattern and fears that Rex, having offended Pele by drilling in her sacred rainforest, is next. Kai is not so sure. But his faith in common sense receives a jolt when Ransom turns up in a steam vent, boiled alive. Kai investigates and finds others besides Pele who might want Ransom dead. An ex-wife, a former business partner, an anti-drilling activist, a loony woman who fancies herself Pele’s sister, and more. Did the goddess herself strike down Ransom? Or is the answer closer to home? A quick-paced, vivid, island-hopping ride, Murder at Volcano House gives fans of the Surfing Detective reason to cheer, and fans of Hawai'i—who is not?—a welcome journey to these storied isles.

Aia lā ‘o Pele i Hawai‘i ‘eā

Ke ha‘a mai lā i Maukele ‘eā
‘Ūhī‘ūhā mai ana ‘eā
Ke nome a‘e lā iā Puna, ‘eā
‘Owaka i ka lani, nokenoke
Ē Pele ē Pele ē.

Pele is in Hawai‘i

She is dancing at Maukele
She rumbles and mutters
As she consumes Puna.
Flashing in the heavens, on and on
O Pele, Pele

Hughes crafts a cozy mystery with Pele the Volcano Goddess. Kama'aina (locals) warn tourists from taking lava rocks - the essence of Pele - home to the mainland.   Kama'aina know that bad luck will follow the lava rock.  The Park Service displays the rocks mailed back by tourists who have felt Pele's wrath.

MURDER AT VOLCANO HOUSE brings Pele's wrath to a CEO who cut through a sacred forest.  Kai Cooke, the Surfing Detective, is skeptical yet he encounters others who are believers, including the CEO's wife, an activist, and the desk clerk at Volcano House.  The historic hotel is perched on the rim of Kilauea's caldera - Pele's home.  

Hughes delivers another action adventure for the Surfing Detective as Kai navigates through Hawaii's cultural history while trying to avoid Pele's wrath himself.  I enjoyed Hughes sprinkling in the Hawaiian language, local slang, and a homage to the extraordinary landscape of the Big Island. Recommended read for those who appreciate Hawaii's culture heritage.  

I purchased a print copy of MURDER AT VOLCANO HOUSE for my reading pleasure.

I am giving away a book choice from my convention stash to one randomly selected commenter.  To enter the giveaway,

1.  Can you share any local legends?

2.  Comments are open through Saturday, June 14, 10 pm in Baltimore.

3.  I'll post the winner on Sunday, June 15.


Kim in Baltimore

Aloha Spirit in Charm City

Learn more about Chip and his books at

Check out my pictures of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park at this link, link, link, link, and link.



  1. Can't think of one here, but I have heard stories about the Jersey Devil.

  2. I can't think of any and I even asked my teen son and he had none. LOL Sorry.

    Marcy Shuler

  3. Aren't we horrible - can't think of one either.

  4. We don't really have any local legends. Not even a legend about bushrangers.

  5. We have one about Leatherman a man who wondered in the early 1900. He went in a circle and appeared in specific places.

  6. The only local legend that I can think of is Resurrection Mary. A woman that people see around a local cemetery who died while hitching down Archer Ave in Chicago.

  7. I don't have any idea of any local legends from here.

  8. Let's change the question - have you visited a volcano?

  9. Not yet, but that is on my bucket list to do! I love watching documentaries and nature shows w/ volcanoes. Even though they are a bit scary!

  10. No local legends that I know of from here.

  11. The Amityville Horror house is down the street from me. Really.

  12. this looks interesting - I stayed at Volcano House when last in Hawaii (in 2002 - way too long ago).

    Local Legend - George Washington tied his horse to the Great Oak in the Presbyterian Church Yard - he was taking a rest on a ride thru the area - the tree is still there and great care is taken of it.

  13. At Hampton House outside of Baltimore, the sound of a chandelier crashing to the floor purportedly preceded the death of the master of the house.

  14. I'm unaware of any local legends and haven't visited a volcano. We have driven through lava fields in New Mexico on our way to Arizona - does that qualify as a really, really old volcano?? Sorry!

  15. I would love to win a book from your stash. I do not know any legends.
    Karen T.

  16. We visited Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii! As for legends, there is the legend of Kate Morgan, a woman who died under suspicious circumstances at the Hotel Del Coronado....and many believe she has never left.

  17. I don't know of any but the film Signs was filmed in our area and it has to do with crop circles I believe.

  18. I have not visited a volcano, but would absolutely like to someday.

  19. Would like to vist, thanks